Rahul Gandhi on Thursday held consultations with Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Members of Parliament from northeast to discuss steps to end the harassment of people.
All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge for North Eastern states Luizinho Faleiro, who led the delegation to Gandhi, said the Congress vice president wanted to address the issue of discrimination against people from the northeast.
The meeting comes in the backdrop of outrage over the death of 19-year-old Nido Taniam after he was allegedly beaten by some shopkeepers in Lajpat Nagar in Delhi.
Faleiro said the ministry of home affairs has set up of a six-member committee headed by retired IAS officer M B Bezbaruah, which will submit a report within two months after examining the causes behind the attacks/violence and discrimination against the people from the northeast.
The committee headed by Bezabaruah, who is also a member of the North-Eastern Council, has the Deputy Secretary in Ministry of Home Affairs S Saha as Member Secretary and retired IAS officers H W T Syeim, Allen Temshi Jamir, Tape Bagra and P Bharat Singh as members.
Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police, Robin Hibu, who hails from that region, will also be in the team of the ministry of home affairs, which will assist the committee.
The chairman of the committee shall co-opt members, one each from the other northeastern states like Tripura, Mizoram and Sikkim as well as one lay member.
"It has been decided to constitute a committee to look into various kinds of concerns of the people hailing from the northeast, who are living in different parts of the country, especially metropolitan areas, and suggest suitable remedial measures, which could be taken by the government," an order issued by Deputy Secretary of MHA's Northeast Division Ajay Kanoujia said.
There are five Terms of Reference under which the committee has been set up to examine various kinds of concerns, including those regarding security of people hailing from the northeastern states.
The panel will examine the causes behind attacks/violence and discrimination against people from the northeast, suggest measures to be taken by the government to address these concerns besides suggesting legal remedies for the same.
The committee, which will be provided secretariat assistance and facilities by the ministry of home affairs, will submit its report within two months.
Faleiro said the committee chairman has been given additional powers to co-opt members from the NGOs and students from the NE region.
He said the committee has a wide mandate and it will suggest remedial measures so that the civil rights of the northeastern people are not compromised with.
He said Gandhi was not only keen for measures to solve the Taniam case but he was also concerned about the "hostile discrimination" against the people of north-eastern region, which is happening in Delhi and other states.
"We discussed with Gandhi how to ensure that such incidents do not happen again and planning deterrent action so that innocent people do not face brutal inhuman attacks," Faleiro said.
The AICC leader said the party is mulling some mechanism for cooperation among various Bhavans (State Houses) through the Resident Commissioners of these states.
"We have already got a helpline in Delhi but there should be some coordination between the home ministry and these Bhavans so that high-level police officials also cooperate. They must maintain a register of names, numbers and addresses of northeastern students so that there is no delay. This is just a thinking," Faleiro said, adding such an arrangement will help timely action in stopping harassment of northeastern people.
Image: A protest against Nido Taniam's death