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Little over a fortnight after the death of Nido Taniam, students and activists from the Northeast in Delhi met police officials on Monday after a 'khap panchayat' in South Delhi’s Munirka area allegedly threatened to evict tenants from Northeastern states.
Taniam, a 19-year-old student from Arunachal Pradesh, was beaten up by a group of men in South Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar on January 29 after an argument broke out between him and a shopkeeper over the colour of his hair and appearance. Soon after Taniam’s death, there was another incident, wherein a 14-year-old girl from Manipur was forcibly grabbed and allegedly raped by her landlord's son, also in Munirka.
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"The khap panchayat in Munirka, south Delhi, at a meeting on Sunday took a decision to force people from the Northeast to leave the area," tweeted Manipuri activist Binalakshmi Nepram.
Confirming this, a senior police official said, "People from the Northeast met us and we assured them of every help. But no one has lodged a complaint regarding this."
Police, however, claimed it was not a khap panchayat but a Residents' Welfare Association meet that had issued the order.
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Umbrella organisation of all major students' bodies of Northeastern states, the North East Students' Organisation (NESO) has appealed against the decision.
"The decision is unfortunate. We feel hurt. At the same time we appeal to them to play the role of guardians to our students," said Samujjal Bhattacharya, adviser of NESO.
"The government in Delhi should take measures for the security and safety of students from the North East in the Capital,” he added.
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(With IANS inputs)