New Delhi, Feb. 10: Under pressure in the Nido Tania case, the Northeast MP’s Forum (NEMPF) today wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to set up a judicial commission and call an all-party meeting to discuss an anti-racial discrimination bill.
With crimes against Northeast youths turning into a political issue, the Centre is likely to call an all-party meeting tomorrow, sources said. The Union home ministry is also “contemplating” action against Delhi police.
The post-mortem report of Nido Tania, 19, has revealed that he died of severe head and lung injuries, police told Delhi High Court today. The police said the three persons arrested in the case earlier and charged with assault will now face murder charges.
The court also asked the Centre to give draft guidelines to the police by tomorrow to ensure safety of people from the Northeast living in New Delhi.
Groups of students and NGOs protesting in the Tania case and against the rape of a minor girl from Manipur on Saturday came down heavily on the MPs for not raising their voices. Rejecting the Union home ministry’s committee of “retired bureaucrats” to address problems of northeasterners in cities, they insisted on an anti-racial discrimination legislation.
The 39 MPs of the forum have, belatedly though, pushed for the agenda set by the protesters and politicians from the Northeast are rushing to Delhi. Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh spent time with the 14-year-old victim who was allegedly dragged over a hundred metres before being brutally raped.
Singh told The Telegraph that he was in favour of an anti-racism law.
“Call an all-party meeting to discuss ways and means of introducing and enacting the bill,” said one of the resolutions adopted by the NEMPF in a meeting on Saturday and included in the letter sent to the Prime Minister today.
While the Union home ministry has argued that a separate legislation may not be necessary if amendment to existing laws is possible, the BJP has apparently got one step ahead to virtually oppose racial discrimination. BJP leader Sushma Swaraj told a delegation, led by activist Binalakshmi Nepram, that Section 153A IPC was adequate and the protesters should not insist on a separate anti-racism legislation.
Nepram was accompanied by student leaders, Tripura king Pradyot Manikya Debbarma and Olympian boxer Shiva Thapa, who hails from Assam.
The group rejected the BJP’s argument and said the anti-racism law was not just for people from the Northeast but also for dealing with discrimination of people from the north in South India or the other way round and against non-locals in the Northeast.