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India Currents gave me a voice in days I was very lost. Having my articles selected for publishing was very validating – Shailaja Dixit, Narika, Fremont

Four Indian American women, who were leaving a restaurant in Plano, Texas Aug. 24 evening were physically and verbally assaulted in the parking lot by a woman who yelled racist slurs such as “I hate you fucking Indians.”

“Go back to India. You curry-assed people are ruining this country,” yelled the perpetrator, in the incident which was captured on video. At one point in her tirade, the suspect, Esmeralda Upton, began repeatedly punching one of the women, Rani Banerjee. She then started rifling through her purse and yelled: “I swear to God, I’m going to shoot your fucking ass.”

“I have never been so terrified in my life,” Banerjee, an engineer, told India Currents. “I have lived in the Dallas Fort Worth area for 29 years and nothing like this has ever happened to me before.”

Racist Slurs

“We were leaving the restaurant, heading to our cars, and saying our long goodbyes when this woman started yelling at us. We had said nothing to her,” said Banerjee. “She started advancing towards me, saying all these hurtful things about Indians. And then she started hitting me.”

Banerjee said she did not have to go to the hospital. But a day after the attack, she still bears physical and emotional scars. “Even now, I feel terrified, shaken,” she said.

‘I Was Terrified’

The victim was with her friends Sabori Saha, Anamika Chatterjee and Bidisha Rudra, who were not assaulted.

A woman hurled verbal and physical assaults on a group of Indian American women Aug. 24 evening in a Plano, Texas parking lot. The video has gone viral on social media.

Plano police arrested Upton on Aug. 25 afternoon. She has been charged with one count of Assault Bodily Injury and one count of terroristic threats. Additional charges may be added, according to police.

Hate Crime

Upton is being held on a total bond amount of $10,000. According to her record on the Plano, Texas inmate locator, Upton has not bailed out as of Aug. 25 evening.

Plano police said they are investigating the incident as a hate crime. The web portal Stop AAPI Hate has recorded more than 11,000 instances of hate crimes or hate incidents since March, 2020.

‘You Indians Are Everywhere’

“All these fucking Indians. You come to our country and you want everything,” said Upton, as she advanced towards the group of women. “Look at the way you speak. I am a Mexican American, and I speak English.”

“Everywhere I go, you Indians are fucking everywhere,” shouted Upton.

India Currents’ Stop The Hate campaign is made possible with funding from the California State Library (CSL) in partnership with the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs (CAPIAA). The views expressed on this website and other materials produced by India Currents do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the CSL, CAPIAA or the California government.

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Sunita Sohrabji

Sunita Sohrabji is the Managing Editor of India Currents. She is also the Health Editor at Ethnic Media Services.