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Panel to scan racism

New Delhi, Feb. 12: The Centre is coming around 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.

Former judge of Supreme Court H.K. Sema may head the group, sources said. The Congress leadership, particularly Rahul Gandhi, is also said to have agreed to an anti-racism legislation.

Moves for a “judicial commission” and a separate legislation to stem racist discrimination were also supported by the 39-member Northeast MP’s Forum.

“We have already spoken to Justice Sema who is ready to participate,” said Arunachal Pradesh (West) MP, Takam Sanjoy. Last week, the Union home ministry set up a six-member committee of former bureaucrats. It was opposed by protesters.

Relatives and well-wishers of Nido Tania will hold an all-faith memorial service at Jantar Mantar on Saturday afternoon, Sanjoy said.

Rahul is understood to have agreed to the legislation after Arunachal student Nido Tania’s parents called on him. Today they met Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The killing of Tania on January 29 had triggered outrage among people from the Northeast and sparked protests by activists and students.

Arunachal Pradesh MLA and Tania’s father Nido Pavitra said the top leaders were “extremely cooperative”.

Sanjoy said the proposed legislation is not only for people from the Northeast but for all people across the country. Tania’s father said they had urged Sonia Gandhi to recommend firm action against erring policemen.

Tania’s supporters alleged that police have arrested innocent people while the real culprits are still at large.