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Students from NE take to the streets to demand justice

February 06, 2014 16:46 IST

Seeking steps to stop discrimination against people from northeast, Members of Parliament from the region on Thursday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who asked the legislators to place their views before the committee constituted to address their grievances.

The meeting of the members of the Northeast Forum of Parliament with Dr Singh comes in the wake of the outrage over the death of a student from Arunachal Pradesh after he was allegedly beaten up by shopkeepers in Lajpat Nagar in Delhi.

Speaking after the meeting, MP from Tripura Khagen Das said the prime minister condemned the incidents, in which people from northeast were targeted and advised them to meet the committee formed to look into the issue.

"We brought to his notice several incidents like the killing of 19-year-old student Nido Taniam and heckling of two Manipuri girls in Delhi," Das said.

"The prime minister told us it is most condemnable and a committee has already been formed. He had a detailed discussion with the home minister. He has also requested us to meet the committee to place more views as to how the discrimination can be stopped," he said.

Das said the prime minister, who is himself a member of the Northeast forum of Parliament, has given an assurance that appropriate steps would be taken so that such incidents do not happen in the future.

The MPs said that in the past few years, several incidents in Delhi and other areas have occurred in which students of the northeast have been targeted.

They said in October 2009, a girl from Nagaland was raped and killed in Delhi while in November 2010, a Manipuri woman was raped. In April 2010, the niece of Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma was found dead in Gurgaon while in February 2013, 10 Manipuri students were harassed on the Delhi University campus.

In May 2013, a Manipuri woman was found dead while in August 2013, three northeastern students were heckled, they alleged.

Scores of northeast students on Thursday marched towards Parliament from Jantar Mantar, demanding an anti-racism law in the wake of the death of Nido Tania.

As the students tried to walk towards Parliament, police stopped them at the Parliament Street police station, after which the protestors courted arrest.

"We want a strong anti-racism law to be enacted by Parliament for the country so that not just people from the northeast but anybody who faces any kind of discrimination anywhere in India get justice," a protester said.

Tania, 19, an Arunachal Pradesh legsilator's son, died last week after he was allegedly beaten up by some shopkeepers following an altercation sparked by their taunts on his hairstyle.

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