Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday assured students from the northeast of quick action and justice in the Nido Taniam (also spelt as Tania) death case, saying he believed in an India where everyone had dignity and respect.
"Only a few people do not believe in this. There is only one India," Gandhi said, addressing a group of students from the region in Delhi.
According to Ninong Ering, minister of state for minority affairs, Gandhi has asked Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde to order a judicial probe into Taniam's death.
"You can expect a very strict action and detailed study done by a committee on the issues of northeasterners of this country. We are trying to move forward on that," Gandhi said in his brief address at Jantar Mantra, adding, "He (Taniam) was an Indian. He deserves justice."
Read: SIT formed to probe Arunachal student's death
People from northeastern states at a candle light vigil in New Delhi to protest against racism and beating up and killing of a student – Nido Taniam, also spelt Tania – in Delhi. (PTI Photo)
Read: Delhi HC seeks report on Nido Taniam's death
A day after Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi criticised the Delhi and the central governments for Taniam's death in the Capital, Gandhi harped on equality to quell the outrage that is spilling on to the streets of Delhi.
Taniam, 19, son of a Congress legislator from Arunachal Pradesh, died last Thursday after being allegedly thrashed by some shopkeepers a day ago in the Lajpat Nagar area of Delhi.
The brawl broke out after a shopkeeper reportedly made fun of Taniam's hair colour. His death has raised concerns over the security of people from the northeast in the Capital, with students taking to streets crying racial discrimination.
Talking to protesters, Gandhi said someone had asked him: "In which India do you believe?"
The Congress vice-president asserted he believed in an India "where everyone gets justice and respect".
Read: Facebook page on Taniam a big hit, has 47,000 likes
Edit: Ignorance about NE is breeding discrimination
BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, however, said Gandhi addressed students from the northeast only after being criticised by Modi.
"Maybe the way Narendra Modi strongly condemned it (Taniam's death) in his Meerut rally has provoked Rahul Gandhi to take this kind of window dressing," he said.
The home ministry, meanwhile, directed the Delhi Police, which have formed a special investigation team to probe the 19-year-old boy's death, to sensitise all police stations in the capital about people from the northeast living in their respective jurisdiction and resolve their grievances.
The Delhi high court also took suo motu cognisance of Taniam's death, seeking reports from the central and the Delhi governments as well as the police on the death.
With PTI inputs
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi joins students from the northeast at Jantar Mantar during a protest demanding justice for an Arunachal Pradesh student who died after a scuffle in New Delhi. (Vipin Kumar/ HT Photo)