The northeast has an almost negligible presence in Delhi Police - just 39 personnel, or a mere 0.05%, from the eight states among the 80,000-strong force. Officials feel the number needs to be increased to help fight rising incidents of crimes against the northeastern community.
According to official data, only 39 men from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim are serving Delhi Police. "Of these, 10 are Indian Police Service (IPS) officers while the rest are in the posts of constable, head-constable or inspector," a police officer who did not wish to be named told IANS.
"Compared to the number of students and professionals from the northeastern states in Delhi, the number of police personnel is very few. Their number needs to be increased," John Neihlaia, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer posted in Delhi Police, told IANS.
Neihlaia, who hails from Mizoram, added that various steps have been taken by Delhi Police to ensure the safety and security of northeasterners in the capital. Following increased incidents of racial attacks on people from the northeastern region, Delhi Police formed a special 24x7 helpline unit - 1093 - to register complaints.
At least 34 people from the community, including professionals and students, were appointed as helpline representatives and issued identity cards by Delhi Police to work with them.
According to the report by the North East Support Centre and Helpline (NESCH), more than 200,000 people from the northeastern states are living in the national capital, of whom around 50% are females,.
Following rising crimes against people from the northeast, especially the murder of Arunachal Pradesh youth Nido Tania in February, a 15-member committee was set up to suggest remedial measures.
The Bezbaruah Committee which recently submitted its report to the government has recommended that there should be an IPS officer from the northeast in every city with a sizable population from the region, a one-stop office for redressing complaints and setting up forums and special squads to investigate hate crimes against the community.
Informed sources told IANS that Delhi Police have plans to get serving paramilitary personnel from the northeast into the squad on a probation basis.
"A proposal was also sent to the government in this regard but to no avail," another officer said.
Robin Hibu, Joint Commissioner of Police and nodal officer for the northeast, said that serving officers were asked to deal "more sensitively" with matters related to people from the northeast.
"All necessary steps are taken immediately as and when any such incident is reported. Their representatives also work hand-in-hand with us in tackling such cases," Hibu told IANS.
"However, it is true that if the number of personnel from the northeast is increased in Delhi Police it would really help us in tackling the cases more efficiently," he added.
According to activist Binalakshmi Nepram, despite the many steps being initiated by Delhi Police, they are "repeatedly failing" to avert incidents of attacks on the community.
"The training given to them is insufficient; they need to realise the gravity of the issue and need to be sensitised accordingly," Nepram, who is from Manipur, told IANS.
Referring to a recent incident in south Delhi in which a Mizo girl was killed, Nepram said no arrest has been made so far in the case and the "killers are moving free".