The death of 19-year-old Nido Taniam, also spelt as Tania, who succumbed to injuries after being allegedly beaten up by a group of men in Lajpat Nagar, further pronounced the fears of the 30,000-odd students from the northeast in the city who face harassment almost everyday.
Not only has breaking out of the stereotype proven next to impossible but basics such as availing public transport or grocery shopping has also turned into a herculean task.
"I have learnt Hindi so that I can survive in the city but even that has not stopped the auto drivers from overcharging us. Even vegetables and fruits are sold to us at a higher price. There are times when people ask me if I’m from China and I’m at a loss of words," said Susan Massey, a DU student who stays in Satya Niketan.
Raj Gogoi, a student of Ramjas, searched length and breadth of the campus and other surrounding areas for accommodation earlier in 2013, but he was either turned away or charged an exorbitant amount as rent.
"I had to pay Rs11,500 for a room that was given out at Rs 6500 to a north-Indian student," he said.
The story is the same for thousands of northeastern students who flock the varsity each year. While the North Eastern Women’s Hostel partially took care of accommodation needs for north-eastern girls, no arrangement was made for boys.
"Landlords charge very high rents. They don’t even refund our security deposit. The property dealers too, charge very high rates," said IK Salam, a student of Kirori Mal College.
According to Robin Hibu, joint commissioner of police, Training, the police have come a long way in ensuring greater safety for northeast students.
"We have representatives in each area who have been trained by us. We have a zero tolerance policy for any unlawful comment or treatment," he said.