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Indian-American praised for providing refuge to protesters during curfew

New York:  An Indian-American businessman has been praised for protecting about 70 people from arrest for violating curfew in Washington during protests against police brutality.

Rahul Dubey, who welcomed protesters into his home on Monday night got “a round of applause from protesters and supporters” the next morning, ABC TV in Washington reported.

Dubey told the station: “I hope they continue to fight and I hope they go out there today peacefully as they did yesterday. Our country needs them and needs you and everybody more than ever right now.”

NBC TV said he took dozens of protesters into his “home overnight after police boxed them in and tried to arrest them for violating curfew”.

He “let them stay there until curfew let up the next morning as police continued to arrest people outside” it said, quoting a protester identified only as Meka.

Meka tweeted that police “shot mace at peaceful protesters in a residential neighbourhood” and that Dubey “gave us business cards in case they try to say we broke in”.

There have been widespread protests around the US following the video-recorded extra-judicial killing of an African-American man by a policeman who choked him to death by kneeling on his neck in Minneapolis last week.

Some of the protests have turned violent with a section of the demonstrators looting stores, damaging public property and setting a church in Washington on fire.

Following the violence, Washington and dozens of cities and towns have imposed night curfew.

Dubey told ABC that as he sat outside his house on Monday evening, he saw police setting up a holding area for people arrested for violating curfew and some people asked him if they could charge their phone and use his bathroom.

He let them into his house and let them stay.

Some of those who stayed there overnight told ABC they had been pepper-sprayed by police.

A woman who was identified only as Taylor by ABC said that “she felt like she was going to die” before Dubey let them into his house.