Two women from Manipur were allegedly assaulted by some men who hurled racist abuses at them in south Delhi around a week ago, but the incident came to light only after the outrage over Nido Taniam's (also spelt as Tania) death.
The incident took place on January 25 — five days before Taniam, 19, died after being allegedly thrashed by some shopkeepers following an altercation over his hair colour in the Lajpat Nagar area. Students from the Northeast staged a massive protest on Saturday, demanding justice for Taniam and protesting against racial discrimination.
The police said a case was registered in connection with the alleged assault on the two women from the Northeast. No arrest has been made so far.
According to the police, the women, identified as Tharmila Jajo and Chonmila, were beaten up by a group of men in their late 20s.
The women said in their complaint that one of the assaulters had tied the leash of his dog to Chonmila's boots. She panicked, and in a bid to get rid of the dog, she started kicking the animal.
Seeing this, the men started beating her up. When her friend Jajo tried to intervene, she too was allegedly thrashed by the men who made racists comments against them, the police said.
The victims alleged that none of the locals came to help them and when they reached the police station to lodge an FIR, policemen were initially reluctant to register a case.
The police's role is under the scanner in the Taniam case as well. Some reports said the police had detained Taniam, son of an Arunachal Pradesh legislator, after the brawl, but later dropped him at the same place, where he was beaten again. The police, however, have denied the charges.
In the Manipuri women's alleged assault, a case was registered only the next day after leaders of some Northeast outfits intervened. The police said that they had recorded the victims' statement and were investigating the case.
Taniam's ordeal has raised concerns about security of students from the Northeast in the Capital. Thousands of them took to the streets following Taniam's death and raised slogans against racial discrimination.
In the face of the protests, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a statement, "There is no place for elements trying to spread hatred against people belonging to any particular part of the country."