Student organisations, human rights body, parties hold protest across the city

Political parties, rights groups and student organisations came together on Sunday to continue the protest against the alienation faced by people from the Northeast in the Capital. They also demanded speedy action in the fatal “racist attack” on Arunachal Pradesh teenager Nido Tania at Lajpat Nagar this past week.

The protesters demanded a fair investigation from the Delhi Police in the death case and also a sensitisation programme to make people aware of the existing diversity in the country.

Representatives from bodies such as the Naga Students’ Union, the Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union, the All Assam’s Students’ Union and the Tripura Students’ Union gathered at Jantar Mantar and other places. They called for an end to ‘discriminatory practices’ by implementing stringent rules and regulations.

Former Member of Parliament from Arunachal Pradesh Kiran Rijiju who also took part in a candlelight vigil at Jantar Mantar said: “This is not an isolated incident, but a culmination of all such incidents. I disagree with all those who think it is not a racial crime. If you ignore the reality and be in denial, you will never solve the problem.”

He further said it was a case of hate crime and that the Delhi Police was trying to bury the case.

Rapo Amose, who hails from Manipur and has been living in Delhi for over a decade, said people from the Northeast find it difficult to trust the police as complaints filed by them are mostly not registered.

“Why does someone need to die in order to change the mindset of people. There should be helpline numbers and commissions to assist people from the Northeast,” said Amose.

Others spoke about racial slurs and the menace of being stereotyped. “It’s very insulting to be called chinki or face other such racial slurs. But if one protests, he/she is subjected to the kind of treatment Nido had to bear,” said Shang Zou another protester.

There were divergent opinions on the Nido case as well. Dr. Avinash Kumar, Chief Resident Commissioner and Principal Advisor to Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, said: “This is a very rare incident. It is being given a racial colour. It was just a normal fight. However, I condemn the act.”

Another protest was organised at Rajghat by various civil society members demanding upholding of the law of the land. The All India Students’ Association also held a protest at Delhi University's North Campus as did students of Jawaharlal Lal University on their campus.

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