Angry over the death of an Arunachal Pradesh teen, students from the northeast held a protest in the capital and also met Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who Saturday assured “exemplary punishment” for the culprits who brutally thrashed the student.
Students from the northeast held a protest at the Lajpat Nagar market in south Delhi where Nido Tania, 19, was mercilessly beaten up by two shopkeepers Wednesday afternoon following a quarrel over his appearance and clothing. He died in a hospital Thursday.
Kejriwal assured the group of students that he will meet Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and demand action against any police official found guilty in the magisterial probe ordered by the Delhi government.
Kejriwal’s assurance came even as the students called off their protest after the Delhi Police assured them of speedy investigations.
“Have assured northeast students that on the basis of the magisterial report, strict action will be taken against the culprits,” Kejriwal said after meeting a students’ delegation at his Delhi residence where he shifted Saturday.
“I request citizens of India to be more tolerant. Our government is set to deal with this issue and make an example out of it,” he added.
The police Saturday said Tania’s body was handed over to his guardian.
Students from Arunachal Pradesh had threatened that they would hold an indefinite protest.
“The Delhi Police have accepted our demands and assured that investigation will be speeded up, so we have called off our protest,” said J.T. Tagam, former president of Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union.
Scores of protestors held placards, raised slogans against discrimination and demanded justice.
Nido Tania was the son of Arunachal Pradesh Congress legislator Nido Pavitra.
“It is a shocking incident and it is not the first time. It is not just about people from the northeast, people from outside always face discrimination here,” said a protestor.
Another protestor said they “want Delhi chief minister (Arvind Kejriwal) to deliver justice to us”.
A group of people from the northeastern states also met Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Harsh Vardhan.
“I hope prime minister (Manmohan Singh), home minister (Sushilkumar Shinde) and chief minister (Kejriwal) will rise to the occasion,” the BJP leader said.
Activists and people from the northeast termed it a “racial attack” while the region’s parliamentarians said they would take up the matter with the prime minister.
Lok Sabha MP and Sikkim Democratic Front spokesperson P.D. Rai Saturday condemned the incident, saying the state’s people were “horrified” on knowing about Tania’s death and its causes as it played out on TV and social media.
“We condemn this kind of racist slur and violence that happened in the middle of a major market in New Delhi,” Rai said in a statement.
“We observe with concern that this kind of situation happens in Delhi every now and then,” it said.
The statement added the Northeast MPs Forum will be meeting Kejriwal, urging him to take action against the culprits.
“We would like that this kind of situation does not ever arise for any northeastern student or person.”