The death of Nido Tania, a student from Arunachal Pradesh, in Delhi earlier this week has raised the issue of safety of northeast Indian students in various parts of the country.
A large number of students from the northeast staged a protest here on Sunday demanding speedy probe into the death of Nido. Many protesters told The Hindu that the situation mirrored the discrimination that they faced in several parts of the country, including Bangalore. Recollecting the exodus of people from the northeast in August 2012 — when thousands left the city after rumours of violence targeting them spread — Dipankar Kalita, general secretary of the Assam Society of Bangalore said: “Even though the police acted fast and took steps to protect our interests during the exodus, the steps taken were not concrete. Most of us face discrimination day in and day out.”
Len Singson, general secretary of the North East Welfare Association of Karnataka, said there was a need for a separate northeastern cell which consists of people from the northeastern States as well as local residents,” she said. Lalrinpuii Khawlhring, vice-president of the association, said, “Hearing racist comments from locals is common. People constantly make fun of our culture, language, attire and lifestyle.”
The association has started a signature campaign ‘Justice for Nido Tania’ which would be handed over to the President urging him to ensure the harshest of punishment to the accused as per the provisions of the law.
They have also demanded a judicial probe into the manner in which the case was handled by the Delhi Police officials.