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Students from northeast plan massive rally in the capital

Protest against rising number of crimes against the community

Gulf News

New Delhi: Students here from the northeast are planning to hold a massive rally in the capital today to protest the rising number of crimes against the community. A sensitisation drive on the issue is also on the agenda, a Naga student union member said.

The latest episode in this rising trend of crime against the northeastern community in the capital was the gruesome murder of a Naga girl by a PhD scholar of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Delhi on October 24.

Luikang, president of the Naga Students' Union in Delhi, said: "We have decided to hold a protest at Jantar Mantar to bring to the forefront that the northeastern community is constantly being targeted in the national capital and the government needs to do something about it."

"Every second day we get to hear of a northeastern girl getting molested somewhere or a northeastern student getting harassed. This bias against the community must be stopped. We are therefore also planning a sensitisation drive on this issue," Luikang said.

He further said members of the Naga Students' Union have been invited by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), south Delhi, for a meeting.

Earlier the Delhi police had said that they had issued a circular to take the most stringent action in order to check crimes against the northeastern community in the city. Most northeastern students were however sceptical of the efficacy of the circular.

According to figures available with the Northeast Support Centre and Helpline in Delhi, around 100 cases of physical and verbal abuse, molestation, rape and beating of boys and girls of the region were reported in Delhi in 2006 and 2007.

Madhu Chandra, who heads the centre, said: "Until May this year, the centre had received 12 complaints of harassment, rape, physical and verbal abuse of northeastern people in Delhi".

On October 18, two men reportedly tried to pull a northeastern woman into their car when she was on her way home in south Delhi. On October 24, Pushpam Sinha, an IITian, who is said to be suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder, strangled his 19-year-old neighbour, Ramchanphy Hongray, in her Munirka home in south Delhi. He then burnt the girl's face to mislead the police.

Alarmed about the incidents, Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath said Wednesday that her ministry would formulate a plan to check such crimes against northeastern women in the city.