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Centre mulls judicial panel

New Delhi, Feb. 12: The Centre is coming round to the view that a committee headed by a former Supreme Court judge should be set up to look into assaults on people from the Northeast in India’s metros.

H.K. Sema, a former judge of the apex court, may head the committee, sources said.

The move to form a “judicial commission” has the support of the 39-member North East MPs’ Forum, which is also in favour of a separate legislation to check racial discrimination.

“We have already spoken to Justice Sema who is ready to participate,” said Arunachal Pradesh (West) MP Takam Sanjoy.

Last week, activists and students protesting against the recent death of Arunachal teen Nido Tania had opposed a six-member committee of former bureaucrats the Union home ministry had set up.

Tania, 19, son of an Arunachal legislator, died after being beaten up by shopkeepers following an altercation sparked by barbs at his hairstyle.

The Congress leadership, particularly Rahul Gandhi, is understood to have agreed to the proposal to enact an anti-racism legislation after Tania’s parents called on the party vice-president.

The parents have met Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde too. Today, they met Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Tania’s parents, along with Sanjoy, have also called on the Prime Minister. Father Nido Pavitra, an Arunachal MLA, said the top leaders were extremely cooperative.

Sanjoy said the proposed legislation would be not only for people from the Northeast as it would also discourage “racist” attacks on migrants from states like Bihar or elsewhere.

Tania’s father said they had urged Sonia to recommend firm action against the Delhi policemen who delayed filing an FIR. The protesters have alleged that among those arrested there were some innocent people, too, while the real culprits were still at large.