A student from Arunchal beaten to death in Delhi, friends allege racism
Are students from Northeast India safe in India’s capital city, Delhi? In yet another heartbreaking incident, an 18-year-old from Arunachal Pradesh died after he was allegedly beaten by a group of men in south Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar area.
Nido Taniam, a first-year student, was looking for an address along with his friends in Lajpat Nagar on Wednesday when someone from a sweet shop teased him about his hair.
A altercation broke out in which Nido broke a glass at the shop. Following this around seven locals beat him up with iron rods.
According to a member of the Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union and his friends, Nido was a victim of a racial attack.
His family says he was found dead the next morning in his room in Green Park Extension. They allege that he died of his injuries from the beating.
The police have detained a person from the shop where Nido was allegedly beaten.
Tongam Rina, Associate Editor of The Arunachal Times says, “The details are sketchy but it does look like yet another racial attack. It is heartbreaking to know that a young man lost his life in Delhi, a city where he had gone looking for better education. The police action was condemnable to say the least. There has to be action against the men who beat the boy up and the police as well, for their inaction. Enough has already happened with people from the Northeast and now this. Having a TV discussion when an incident like this happens or just condemning the act is not going to help. Book the perpetrators of violent act.”
Condemning the incident Jarjum Ete, social activist from Arunachal Pradesh says, “‘Shocking’ is an understatement. The perpetuation of such crimes against people with different ‘looks’ could be tagged as ‘racial discrimination’. Most unfortunate that in the land of Gandhi, some citizens don’t wince to snuff out a life so young and so loved. If someone is wrong, lodge a complaint with the police. Why kill ? We appeal that the law acts fast and well to punish the killers of our son and brother. Hope the media and all the concerned people and groups extend their solidarity.”
The Members of Parliament from Northeast India are meeting today to discuss this yet another incident of racial profiling of a student from Northeast India.
This is an example of the intolerance, ignorance and brutality that lurks within, each interconnected feels Sanjoy Hazarika, Director, Centre for North East Studies, Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi. “Discrimination rules the streets of Delhi, Against different ethnic groups, nationalities. As a start, we should boycott Lajpat Nagar market and demand an unconditional apology. Also action to be taken under Prevention of Atrocities to SC/ST Act against those involved in this incident as well as CrPC and IPC for this tragic, ugly and inforgiveable act of violence’.”
The incident has evoked widespread condemnation. Jarpum Gamlin, CEO and Publisher of Eastern Sentinel, a daily published from Itanagar, Arunchal Pradesh says, “What happened with our young brother in New Delhi is a heinous act of highest order in new order civil society. It is, it was and it wont be the last of such deplorable racial profiling unless Delhites shed the “wounded culture syndrome”, a xenophobic psyche carried down over generations since the days of Mughal raiders.”
Meanwhile, the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) urged the Delhi Police to invoke the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 against the murderers of Nido Taniam, a student from Arunachal Pradesh who was murdered at Lajpat Nagar market in New Delhi. A fight erupted between students and local shopkeepers over some comments made about Mr Nido Taniam with respect to his hair style. Taniam was allegedly beaten with sticks and rods by a group of 7-8 men and the Delhi Police failed to protect him despite being present on the spot.
“There have been increasing racial attacks on the people from the North East India in capital Delhi. In addition to the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Delhi Police must invoke the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against the murderers as well as the Delhi Police personnel who have failed to protect Taniam, a scheduled tribe, from being beaten to death”. – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.
Asian Centre for Human Rights further called for trial of all the accused in a fast track court.