A group of 67 Manipuri women from diverse ethnic communities has demanded that the IIT-Delhi PhD student, accused of molesting and killing a 19-year-old Manipuri woman, be punished at the earliest.
The women have also demanded that adequate compensation be paid to the victim’s family.
In a memorandum to President Pratibha Patil, the women leaders said the incident should not be seen in isolation.
“Rather, it reflects the deep-rooted and widespread bias of mainland Indians against the people of the northeast,” it said.
Copies of the memorandum have been sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Manipur Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh as well as the national and state human rights and women commissions.
The memorandum was prepared during the Women Committee of the United NGOs Mission Manipur-sponsored two-day Women Leaders’ Meet here from October 28-29. The meet discussed the discrimination people from the northeast faced in the country
The leaders cited cases of rape, harassment and exploitation of northeast people in major cities of the country — particularly in the Capital — because of the difference in their facial features, culture and tradition.
“They are treated as second-class citizens. This is against the ethics and stand of independent and secular India as the Indian Constitution is based on the equality of all its citizens regardless of the diversity of race, religion, cultures and traditions,” the memorandum reads.