‘Hate crimes will not be tolerated’

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    • Govt will soon enforce Bezbaruah panel’s proposals
    • Helpline for people from North East to be set up

    Gurgaon, October 18 (IANS): In the wake of the assault on two Naga youths here, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju Saturday met a group of students from the northeast and assured them that “hate crimes will not be tolerated”.

    He said that the central government will soon enforce the Bezbaruah panel proposals for the northeast people. “The government believes India is a democratic nation and such hate crimes will not be tolerated. Our society must not be intolerant, we must exist harmoniously together,” Rijiju said, adding the attack was “unacceptable”.

    He also said the government has decided to have a dedicated helpline and police force to deal with issues of students from the northeastern region. The Lok Sabha MP from Arunachal Pradesh said he has spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the national security advisor and have decided to hold a high level meeting on the matter. “What steps must be taken to avoid such incidents from taking place in future will be discussed,” he said.

    The minister met the group two days after two men from Nagaland, both call centre workers, were beaten up and assaulted by a group of people Wednesday night in Sikanderpur area near the Mehrauli border. Aloto Chishi and Awangbo Newmai said the gang that attacked them shouted racial slurs at them.

    “I had already met Prime Minister Narender Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the issue and we are fully committed to not allow such incidents to be repeated across the country in the future,” Rijiju said. “Integrity and solidarity of the country would not be allowed to be disintegrated as the people of country from every part, including NE region, have equal rights to live and earn their livelihood,” he said.

    He said, “The home ministry would implement the recommendations of the committee headed by MP Bezbaruah, retired IAS, member, North East Council.” Bezbaruah had looked into various concerns of northeast people. The minister approved setting up a separate exclusive helpline for the northeast people in Gurgaon. If the helpline proves beneficial to check racist attacks, the same would be replicated across the metro cities where people from the northeast live. Rijiju told media persons that the home ministry would soon implement the Bezbaruah committee recommendations.

    Gurgaon police Friday arrested three youths from Sikanderpur on the Mehrauli border where the incident took place. Gaurav Yadav, 23, a resident of Sikanderpur, Ram Bihari from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh and Vijay Kumar from West Bengal have been arrested. Gurgaon Police have also identified two more people involved in the incident. The minister said he did not meet any of the two victims as both had been discharged from their respective hospitals.

    NSF seeks clear policy on ‘hate crimes’

    Kohima, October 18 (MExN): Condemning the brutal attack on two Naga youths in Sikanderpur area, Gurgaon on October 16, the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) today urged the Government of India to come out with clear policy on ‘hate crimes’ meted against the people of North East and also book the people involved in the assault and award befitting punishment.

    A press statement from NSF general secretary, Esther Rhakho and vice president, Joseph Ngour stated that the incident has “surfaced (Proven) the racist attitude of the main land India towards the North East people of India.” “It has also shown the lackadaisical attitude of the Government of India (GoI) in addressing this issue seriously and its slow pace in enacting stringent law to curb the racism in India.”

    It further lamented that the NSF and different civil organizations based in North East region, including North East Students’ Organization, have submitted memorandums, held protest rallies and dharnas against racial attacks and discrimination faced by the people of the region, but till today no concrete policy or action has been implemented by the Govt. of India to protect the people.

    The NSF also demanded to know how serious the GoI was taking note of the recommendation of the Bezbaruah Committee on curbing violence against North East people. “What steps the GoI has initiated basing on the recommendations made by the Committee?” It also appealed to all the civil organizations of the North East states to work hand in hand in addressing the common issues of the region so such incident does not occur in future.

    ‘Racial attacks may lead to rise of secessionism’

    AIZAWL, October 18 (PTI): Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla on Saturday warned that repeated racial attacks on people from the Northeast in other parts of India might lead to spread of communalism and rise of secessionism in the region. Urging the central government to enact anti-racial law to stop such incidents, the chief minister lamented that the Northeastern people are “not considered as Indians”.

    “The anti-racial law has to be enacted because if we do not contain it (attacks on Northeastern people), it will spread communalism and may also fuel secessionism. We have to arrest this as quickly as possible,” Lal Thanhawla told reporters on the sidelines of Infrastructure Conclave. Terming the attacks as very unfortunate, he said that the Northeast people were treated as if they were not Indians. The chief minister then went on to illustrate the typical mindset by giving an example.

    “One fellow once asked me, where is Mizoram. Is it in China or in Nepal? He said we don’t look like an Indian. I asked him, tell me in one sentence how does an Indian look like? Why can not Northeastern people be considered as Indians even after 60 years of Independence? Ask them how can we become more Indian than we have been.”

    Source: The Morung Express