July 21: The Northeast reacted strongly to the alleged murder of a man from Manipur in New Delhi in the wee hours today, demanding an end to atrocities on people from the region and enactment of an anti-racism law.
Congress member R.K. Imo Singh, who brought up the incident in the Manipur Assembly during zero hour, urged chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and home minister Gaikhangam to take up the matter with the Centre so that the culprits are punished.
The North East Students Organisation (Neso), the umbrella body of all student groups in the region, demanded the enactment of an anti-racism law to prevent further attacks on students and people from the Northeast.
“After the Nido Tania incident, the Centre had assured us that no such incidents would take place in future. However, with today’s incident, it is apparent that the government has failed to live up to that commitment. So, we want an anti-racism law to be enacted,” Neso secretary general Sinan Prakash Singh told The Telegraph.
United Naga Council (UNC), the apex body of the Naga community in Manipur, demanded stringent measures by the Union home ministry and the Delhi administration against the culprits.
“We are very agitated. Until and unless the culprits are given stringent punishment and strong measures are taken by the home ministry and Delhi administration, such incidents will continue to happen,” UNC president L. Adani said.
The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) warned that continuous assault on the people from the Northeast would further alienate them from mainstream India.
Condemning the alleged murder, NSF general secretary Easter Rhakho warned that the people from the Northeast would not remain calm and that the Centre would be solely held responsible for the fallout of the atrocities and assault on the people from the Northeast. “We have time and again asked the government of India to take all measures to safeguard people from the Northeast but no concrete steps have been taken so far,” she warned.
Rhakho called for unity among the people of the region in all issues confronting them. She said people of the region have been asking their respective state governments to take up the issue with the Centre.
All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union president Kamta Lapung also condemned the incident and said that such “racially motivated” attacks on people from the Northeast had “hurt our sentiments”.
“For years, people from the region have had to deal with racism in the national capital and recently things have taken a violent turn for the worst.”
Lapung expressed solidarity with the victim’s family and said the union would continue to fight against such racist behaviour jointly with other students’ unions of the region.