‘Racial discrimination against NE people higher in capital’

The 11-member committee had conducted a study into the problems and recommended measures to reduce conflicts faced by people from the Northeast.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi | Published: August 21, 2014 2:58:12 am

Over two-lakh persons from Northeastern states migrated to Delhi between 2005-2013 and nearly 86% of them have faced some sort of “racial discrimination” in metropolitan cities across the country, says the M P Bezbaruah Committee report, which was set up to look into problems faced by people from the Northeast in other parts of the country.

The report states that people from the Northeast faced more problems in the capital than in other metros like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata. Further, the report states, over two-thirds of women from the Northeast have reported that they faced some sort of discrimination or harassment in Delhi.

The 11-member committee, in the over 80-page report, had conducted a study into the problems and recommended measures to reduce conflicts faced by people from the Northeast.

The committee had been created after Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Tania was killed in an alleged racial altercation in Delhi earlier this year.

The committee had submitted its report to the Ministry of Home Affairs in July and a copy was submitted before the Delhi High Court on Wednesday.

The court of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw has now directed the government to file a detailed action-taken report on the research done and recommendations given by the committee.

In its report, the committee said problems often occurred as employers in lower-paid establishments preferred to employ people from the Northeast due to their proficiency in English. This creates a situation where “educated unemployed youth” in the area feel threatened.

Further, as most job-seekers coming to metro cities live in “affordable” lower-middle class areas, there is friction with the residents as they tend to be more conservative and wary of people who have odd-working hours. Language and communication difficulties add to their problems, which is further “accentuated as they look different with their Mongoloid features,” the report states.

The committee has suggested several long and short-term measures to tackle the issue, after consultation with different ministries and departments.

It has suggested serious legal reform by changing the IPC to make “racial” discrimination an offence, and introducing special police units and fast track courts to speedily dispose of cases related to Northeast persons.

The committee has also suggested that NCERT should introduce certain aspects of the “Northeast ethos” into the curriculum to “integrate each aspect of the Northeast into the consciousness of the people outside.”

Further, resources of the Information and Broadcasting ministry could be used to create awareness about this issue, the report states.
The High Court on Wednesday directed the Central government to submit a detailed report on the measures that have been suggested by the committee by September 10.

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