Manipur Student Body Condemns Racism and Calls for Peace in Delhi

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The Manipur Students Association of Delhi (MSAD), an organisation of students from North East Indian state studying in Delhi, called for peace in Delhi and condemned incidents of violence in the country.

In the wake of violence of Bodol and between Bengali Muslims and indigenous Bodo people that claimed more than 80 lives and displaced about 400,000 people, a racist rumour-mongering and hate campaign agaist the people of North East India living in other parts of has been launched. Fearing attacks, tens of thousands of North East peaople fled from West and South Indian cities for safety. Sporadic incidents of violence and racist atacks were reported from other cities including Delhi, the national capital city.

In the statement issued on 22 August 2012, MSAD also condoled the untimely demise of Dolaipabam Mohammad Sharif Ahamed of Manipur, a student of Cotton College in Assam, who was allegedly thrown out of a running train and killed in West Bengal on 19 August 2012. Sharif is considered one of the six passengers of the Guwahati-bound special train carrying Northeast people fleeing Bangalore who were killed on their way. The incident reports the injury of three other North easterners who were first beaten up and pushed out in a racist manner in the ongoing atmosphere of targeting Northeast people in India. MSAD condemned such an inhumane incident.

MSAD further condemned the act of taunting, humiliation and harassment of Soibam Arunkumar in a racial manner by a crowd of Delhites on the night of 15th August and around Chirag Delhi. MSAD also condemned the reported attack on Yuringam and Wungshungmi from Manipur at their rented premises at Kotla Mubarakpur on the intervening night of 18th and 19th August. These few reported instances in Delhi were preceded by the murder of Loitam Richard in Bangalore and the controversial suicide of Dana Sangma in April and the denial of justice. In the past, there were several reported instances of social discrimination and attacks. Government’s initiative to address the issue is late coming, slow and inadequate. Against this backdrop, it is logical of the exodus of Northeast students and migrant workers from Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, etc when attacks and hate propaganda had begun.

MSAD placed on record their appreciation of the peace initiatives taken up by Muslim organisations. The student body appealed to them to cooperate in the fight against injustice and for attainment of peace. It also called for the Northeastern people to calm down and exercise restrain.

Waliullah Ahmed Laskar is an Independent Journalist and Human Rights Defender, and Director of Law and Legal Affairs at Barak Human Rights Protection Committee in Guwahati, Assam.