New Delhi: The death of a young boy from Arunachal Pradesh, Nido Taniam, in Delhi's Lajpat Nagar has led to a furore among the Northeast Indians. The Northeast community has decided to hold a protest march on Saturday in front of the same sweet shop where he was allegedly beaten to death.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has sought a report from the Delhi Police on the death of the young student, who was the son of an Arunachal Pradesh MLA. Sources in the Home Ministry say three people have been detained.
Taniam's family has alleged that he was beaten to death. The incident took place on January 29 and the victim's friends say there was a fight with a shopkeeper which escalated.
The victim succumbed to injuries on Thursday. Sources say that prima facie death appears to be due to internal injuries. His post-mortem report is expected on Saturday.
Some eyewitnesses say the shopkeepers and a few others made some obscene remarks on his blonde hair. It led to the fight. The police picked up the boy and later dropped him back in the same locality. After that the shopkeeper and his friends allegedly beat him up again.
According to eye witnesses the altercation began when he broke the window of a sweet shop. He broke the window after they made comments about his hair (he had blonde hair), said his friends.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has condemned the death and has assured a probe. "The Delhi government strongly condemns the murderous assault on a college student from Arunachal Pradesh in the Lajpat Nagar Market on Wednesday, which has resulted in his death. Such gruesome and inhuman incidents must not be tolerated and the Delhi government is working on ordering a probe into how the innocent life was lost and what was the response of the law enforcing agencies. The government is contemplating a magisterial inquiry into this death, which is not only tragic but raises serious questions on the alleged beating reportedly in public view," Kejriwal said in a statement.
The Delhi Police has registered a murder case and has begun probe into the incident. "A case has been registered..we are questioning all the people involved in the fight," said P Karunakarn, DCP, South East Delhi.
The people from the North East have demanded the strictest action against both police and the attackers.
The people are alleging that the police have failed to protect him. They feel that they should not have brought him back to the same place.
Activist Binalakshmi Nepram has tweeted, "Shopkeepers #LajpatNagar made fun of victim's blonde hair.Argument broke out. 6-8 locals came out and thrashed victim with Iron rods & sticks (sic)." "Police arrived/settled case with fine Rs. 10,000 & took deceased to PS but later policemen dropped him at same place where fight took place (sic)," she added.
Arunachal Pradesh Resident Commissioner Avinash Kumar said, "The police must act and arrest those behind this. It's a heinous crime. The Northeast students are very agitated. We will ensure that the culprits are booked under the law. We will send the body to his native place on Saturday morning."
However, student union leader JT Tagam has said that the incident involving the AP student does not seem to be a racist incident.
Union Minister for Minority Affairs Ninong Ering, who also hails from Arunachal Pradesh, has expressed shock over the incident. He has demanded a thorough probe and punishment.