July 10: The North East Students Organisation does mind the “gap”. Delhi police’s safety tips for students/visitors from the Northeast has not only left the students’ union fuming, but many others too.
NESO chairman Samujjal Bhattacharyya today said the separate code would only alienate the student community from the region. “It is not a healthy move. Why isn’t there a separate booklet for other states or region of the country' The manner in which the issue has been tackled will only see the feeling of alienation grow. Food and dress are personal choices and there should not be any imposition,” he said.
Bhattacharyya, reacting to West Delhi Police's booklet — Security tips for Northeast Students/visitors in Delhi — said the move was a one-track initiative.
National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) secretary in charge of the Northeast, Bengal and Jharkhand, S. Gogoi, however, had a different take on the matter.
“It is a welcome step. It is an eye opener to those planning to study and visit Delhi. It is for our security. Nothing much must be read into it.”
AGP general secretary Dilip Saikia said: “Why only for the Northeast' We are hundred per cent part and parcel of India. We should not be treated differently from the others. The issue should have handled more tactfully. We will seek the intervention of Prime Minister.”
AASU central committee member Bipul Rabha said, “It is highly objectionable. We oppose the move.”
AJYCP adviser Dilip Patgiri added: “The move shows that the Northeast is not a part of India. We condemn the move. It should have been for everybody.”
Mukul Sangma, deputy chief minister, Meghalaya said: “There has to be a uniform code of conduct for students from all parts of the country. Why only the Northeast' This is being racist and this will further alienate the nation.”
Samuel Jyrwa, KSU president said: “This has once again proved that people from the mainland, particularly Delhi, have been always following the policy of keeping the Northeast away from the mainstream.”
Amar Yumnam, professor of economics, Manipur University, said: “This is ridiculous and reflects the mean mindset of the mainland.”
Nirmala Laiseram, who works in Delhi but is now vacationing in Imphal, said: “Girls from the Northeast wear the same kind of clothes worn by Delhi girls. So what is the big deal'”
Biswa Kumar Debbarma , general secretary of Tribal Students' Federation (TSF) said: “This is totally unacceptable.”