Booklet for northeast students sparks ire

PTI | By, New Delhi
Jul 15, 2007 08:54 PM IST

The booklet by Delhi Police suggests a code of conduct and tips for students and visitors from the northeast.

A Delhi Police booklet suggesting a code of conduct for students and visitors from the northeast has sparked outrage among people from the region, with a MP planning to take up the issue with the Union Home Ministry.

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While a section of the people from the northeast termed the booklet titled "Security Tips for northeast students/ visitors in Delhi", issued by the west district police, as "helpful", many have taken strong exception to what they described as its "insensitive" advise.

The booklet advises girls from the region to avoid wearing any "revealing dress" and has suggestions about cooking "smelly" food without creating a "ruckus" in the neighbourhood.

"If they are dictating food habits and a dress code, then it is a cultural imposition," said Khiren Rijju, a Lok Sabha MP from Arunanchal Pradesh

"If it is true, I will meet Home Minister Shivraj Patil and lodge a strong protest," he told PTI.

A committee of students from the northeast has convened a meeting on Saturday to discuss the issue, said Lalzarliana, president of the Mizo Students Association.

"We strongly object to the remarks on food and dress. These comments are not in the proper spirit," said Savanai, vice president of the Naga Students Union.

Subhromitra Gogoi, the secretary of the National Students Union of India who hails from Assam, said the booklet was helpful for northeastern students coming to Delhi but police should not have given suggestions on food habits and dress.

Interestingly, the booklet carries an introduction 'Words to Seven Sisters' penned by Deputy Commissioner of Police (West District) Robin Hibu, who himself hails from the northeast.

"Most unfortunate part is that the guidelines were framed by a person from the northeast," said Utpal Borpujari, general secretary of the Northeast Media Forum, a body of journalists based in the national capital.

He said before issuing such an advisory, the Delhi Police should have taken into confidence the people hailing from the northeast, including MPs and student representatives.

"We cannot have a rule book for a particular section of people. Why are they not having similar guidelines for students of other states?" asked Manoj Das, general secretary of the Assam Association, Delhi.

Instead of giving tips to the northeast students, Delhi Police should issue general booklets on dos and donts for all the students in the capital, said Savanai of Naga Students Union.

"Why the students from northeast are singled out?" she questioned.

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