Police registered a case of murder in connection with the death of Nido Tania, son of Congress MLA and Parliamentary Secretary in Health and Family Welfare Department, Nido Pavitra, on Thursday as the incident sparked a furore with allegations of discrimination against people from the region. (Agencies)
Two shopkeepers were arrested this evening in the case as police faced flak for alleged inaction. Delhi government also recommended a magisterial inquiry into the incident. The relatives of the youth, who was a BA first year student at a private university, alleged that he had an altercation with some shopkeepers in Lajpat Nagar in south Delhi on Wednesday after they made fun of his hairstyle, following which they allegedly thrashed him.
Police had reached the spot and brokered compromise after which Tania returned to his Safdarjung home with his friends. However, he did not wake up in the morning. When his friends took him to AIIMS, he was declared brought dead. Police said they were waiting for the viscera report while two shopkeepers identified as Farhan and Akram have been arrested.
The initial post-mortem has not revealed "much injury or aberration". His viscera samples have been preserved to zero in on the cause of death, police said. "On Wednesday, they had a fight. However they reached a compromise soon after that. There was not much injury. Then on Thursday he was brought dead to AIIMS following which we were informed. Post-Mortem was conducted on Friday,” police added.
"It didn't show much injury or aberrations. Internally, there were some changes in viscera, and for this the viscera has been preserved and its chemical report is being expedited. Meanwhile, we have registered a case under Section 302. Further investigations are on," Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-East) P Karunakaran told reporters in Delhi on Friday.
Asked whether cause of death could be due to injuries from the assault, the official said, "There is no final conclusive report as if now".
A youth claiming to be his cousin told a TV channel, "This is surely about racism. Everybody in Delhi discriminates against us based on our looks. We are living in India, but we don't know whether we are actually living in India or not. Every time we are discriminated against.”
"His family has been informed," he said. Arunachal Pradesh MP Takam Sanjoy demanded immediate arrest of culprits. "The humiliating discrimination meted out to northeastern students and other people either in Delhi or elsewhere is going to be protested on a large scale,” he added.
"North east students' forum in Delhi will be protesting tomorrow and MPs of north east will also be reaching from various camps to Delhi soon," he said. Sanjoy said the protesters will meet the Prime Minister, Delhi Chief Minister and the Home Minister to ensure that "this type of discrimination does not occur in the future," he further said.
There have been incidents of targeting people from the north east, including rape of a BPO employee, in the national capital, leading to protests from outfits representing their cause.
"Even after 48-hours of the incident the police failed to arrest the culprits involved in the crime, which exposed the discriminatory attitude of the people from mainland India towards the people of North East," Sanjoy said.
"This is not a new incident several such incidents have been reported earlier where students of NE are victimized and we have taken adequate steps to sensitise the people. Even I raised the issue several times in parliament," Sanjoy said while condemning the incident.
Meanwhile, All Arunachal Pradesh Students' Union (AAPSU) and All Nyishi Students Union (ANSU) along with several other organizations of the state condemned the incident and demanded that the Delhi government arrest the culprits immediately and ensure that they get strict punishment.
According to Avinash Mishra, Chief Resident Commissioner, Arunchal Pradesh Bhavan, the incident took place on Wednesday when Tania along with a friend had gone to Lajpat Nagar market to locate a friend's address.
"He asked for directions at one of the shops there. Some workers of the shop started making fun of his blond hair. He asked them not to laugh at him but they didn't budge. In a fit of rage, he perhaps hit the shop's counter breaking its glass," he said.
After this, a scuffle ensued during which he was thrashed by seven-eight people with sticks. He was badly injured as seen in some of the pictures clicked by his friends, Mishra said. "Following the commotion, police arrived on the spot which got a settlement done. The boy even gave Rs 7000 for the damaged counter. Police then called his uncle, Vinod, and asked him to take Tania with him. Some of his friends arrived on the spot and took him with them," he said.
They went to a medical store in Safdarjung where they took a tetanus injection and went to his home in Safdarjung. He even took a cup of coffee before retiring to bed. His friends say that he slept at 1 AM and even got up once.
"However, he didn't wake up in the morning. He was taken to AIIMs, where he was declared dead," Mishra said.
Police registered a case of murder in connection with the death of Nido Tania, son of Congress MLA and Parliamentary Secretary in Health and Family Welfare Department, Nido Pavitra, on Thursday as the incident sparked a furore with allegations of discrimination against people from the region.