New Delhi, Feb 5 :
Lok Sabha members across the spectrum Wednesday expressed their concern over the death here of a youth from Arunachal Pradesh, with Speaker Meira Kumar stating that the entire house was “one in protecting children from the northeast”.
Responding to concerns of the members on the death of 19-year-old Nido Tania last week, Meira Kumar said that incident should be condemned by the entire house.
“A clear message should go that parliament of India, members of Lok Sabha are one in protecting children and people of the north east. We should send this message everywhere,” she said.
Tania, son of an Arunachal Pradesh legislator, was beaten up by shopkeepers in a south Delhi market following a quarrel over his appearance and clothing. He died in a hospital Jan 30. The victim’s friends say it was a racial attack.
The speaker made her remarks amid din in the house. She later adjourned the house for the day.
Raising the matter after the house met at noon following an adjournment earlier, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushma Swaraj said that Tania died following quarrel after being taunted on his hair style.
“I want to raise an issue with great pain… the death of a youth from north east that shamed us,” Sushma Swaraj said.
She said two women from Manipur had also been molested in the national capital.
“The child belonged to Arunachal Pradesh, a state whose every resident has stood as a soldier against China,” she said.
The BJP leader said students from north east come to Delhi and other parts of the country due to lack of quality educational institutions at their places.
“India is a diverse country. People in Delhi should understand that if there are people with sharp nose, there are those with flat nose,” she said.
Taking a dig at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Sushma Swaraj said they participated in protest by students from north east when they should have been taking action to book those responsible for Tania’s death.
She also took a dig at Congress over the din in the house.
Sushma Swaraj demanded creation of hostels for students in the capital and said it should have students from north east and other parts of the country.
Minister of State for Minority Affairs Nino Ering said that the issue was not political.
Ering said he had given a notice for suspension of question hour but withdrew it after a word with the speaker.
The minister said that “racial discrimination” suffered by students of the north east was a serious issue.
“A strong law should be passed so that such incidents were not repeated in future,” Ering said.
He also suggested creating a committee to deal with complaints of students from the north east.
Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav said the entire house should condemn the incident.
Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Basudeb Acharia said the incident was nothing but “racial discrimination”.
He said every student has the right to go, study and work in any part of the country.