- 2 more attackers held in Pune
- Assam students leaving HYDERABAD in hordes, Andhra police of no help.
- RUMORS & FACTS: Northeast citizens have reportedly been attacked in Bangalore, Hyderabad.
- Northeast Students distancing themselves from Northeast Students’ Forum in an attempt to underscore their identity as distinct from the other states of the region
Students demand police patrolling
PUNE: Students from the northeast studying in the Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce on Tuesday urged the police to patrol areas such as Wadarwadi and Deep Bungalow chowk. This, they said, would build confidence and create a feeling of security among the students.
The demand was made at a meeting conducted by deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Makarand Ranade at the Symbiosis Vishwa Bhavan to instill confidence in students from the northeast living in the city. The meeting was attended by around 200 students.
The students told Ranade that police patrolling was needed in Wadarwadi and Deep Bungalow chowk areas. One of them said, "A lot of students from the northeast live in these areas because of its proximity to the Symbiosis college. However, ever since the attacks started, we feel a little unsafe and want the police to monitor these areas too."
Ranade appealed to the students to immediately contact the police if they faced any problems. He said, "We do not want a single student from the northeast to leave the city. They must continue studying in Pune. We will take action against the troublemakers."
He also shared important numbers of police stations where students can register their complaints. He said, "Calls to these numbers will be answered around the clock and prompt action will be taken. Our aim is to provide protection to the students from the northeast so that they feel safe in the city."
Meanwhile, at the Maharashtra Cosmopolitan Society, over 100 students from the northeast studying in various institutes of the society attended a meeting conducted by its president P A Inamdar on Tuesday morning.
Inamdar assured the students that their safety was the society's priority and that they should call him immediately in case they needed any help.
DCP (zone II) R L Pokale and senior police inspector (cantonment) Sushama Chavan also spoke to the students and assured them of police security.
'About 80% northeast students in Kondhwa from Manipur'
Around 80% of the students from the northeast staying in Kondhwa belong to Manipur state. This is the reason why most people attacked turned out to be Manipuris, said representatives of the North Eastern students' union and the Interim Forum, on Monday.
"The attackers are illiterate and young, and do not have knowledge about the people from the north eastern states. Though four states share border with Burma, they are separate entities and not a part of Burma. The attackers mistook people from northeast for Burmese people, as they all have Mongoloid features," said Alam M K, president of the Manipur Students' Union in Pune.
Rock Lungleng, the convenor of the Interim Forum, said, "About 80% of the north eastern students in Kondhwa are from Manipur, in a geographical sense. That is why they seem to form a majority of the victims." An 'Interim Forum' was formed on August 10 by the representatives of all existing northeast Students' bodies in Pune in the wake of recent attacks in the city.
The reason why most of them prefer Kondhwa is because of low rent and the area's proximity to educational institutions. "You can get a 1 bhk here for Rs 3,000. I stay in a 2 BHK and pay Rs 8,000 which is very reasonable. Also, Kondhwa is more convenient for us since our friends have been staying here since long.Gradually, all of our community have come to stay here. Whenever a north eastern student shifts to Pune, he automatically settles in Kondhwa. Its proximity to educational institutions such as the Poona College and Abeda Inamdar Senior College help," said Jacob V Khiangte, president, Mizo Students' Union in Pune.
2 more held for attacks on North-East students
Pune police on Tuesday arrested two more persons in connection with the attack on North-East students in the city. The suspects Shahrukh Javed Shaikh alias Sohail alias Raju (20) of Lohiya Nagar, Ganj Peth and Shahbaz Sadiq Punjabi (21) of Kondhwa Khurd have been booked under Sections 147, 143, 149 and 323 of the Indian Penal Code. They were granted bail by a magistrate court.
Police said the duo got provoked after watching “doctored video clips” on Assam riots and attacked the North-East students.
Meanwhile, the two youths, Mohsin Shaikh and Nilesh Sathe, arrested earlier for attacking Manipuri student Rokuozetuo Ltu (25) on August 11, were released on bail.
Since August 8, nearly 15 North-East residents have been attacked in Kondhwa, Poona college area and Hadapsar. Police have so far arrested 13 people. Investigations are on to find who provoked these youths by showing them video clips.
Manipuris opt out of NE students’ body, say Assam part of it
While there has been no further incidence of violence against Northeasterners living in Pune in the past 24 hours, the attacks on Saturday night, even after the police cases were filed and peace talks held with local Muslim leaders, have deeply shaken the victims.
Premananda Khomdram, who was attacked twice last week, has apparently left town and is heading back home.
His exit from the city was followed by the Manipuri students’ union distancing itself from the Northeast Students’ Forum in an attempt to underscore their identity as distinct from the other states of the region.
“Most of those affected during the spate of attacks were Manipuris. Now, with things getting clear as to why the violence ensued, we don’t want to associate ourselves with a state where the alleged incidents are taking place,” Alam MK, president of the Manipur Students’ Association, said categorically, after staying away from the press conference organised by the Northeast Students’ Forum on Monday.
Alam’s stance has left other members of the Forum surprised. “I have nothing against Alam. It was decided that the Northeast Students’ Forum would be an interim body whose sole purpose is to make people aware about the violence against Northeasteners and also to sensitize the general public in regards to our culture and region,” said Rock Lungleng, ex-president of the Naga Students’ Union.
“That apart, there was absolutely no other agenda. When I first heard the news about the attack, it was I who contacted Alam and advised him on the steps we could take. I clearly realized the situation involved Northeasteners, and being worried about their safety, the decision was taken to organise this Northeast umbrella group,” he added.
“When Premananda was attacked the second time, his attackers fled when he showed them his driving licence, which had ‘Government of Manipur’ written on it. I think people now know that the problem is taking place in Assam and not in Manipur,” argued Alam, having been advised by his seniors to steer clear of any body that lists Assam as its member.
Focussed now on the people of his State, he is sending out SMSes that state, “All Manipuri students, family and employees who are staying Pune, please show your Indian Union driving license (govt of Manipur) or any Manipuri ID.”
The body, formed last week in the wake of the attacks on individuals with Oriental features in Pune, sought to reinforce their faith in the city and rein in rumours here and back home about what has been going on.
“We don’t want the city’s image as a peaceful one to be tarnished, just because of such incidents. It is a wonderful city to live in — all we are trying to say is that we want to co-exist in peace,” Rock said.
Meanwhile locals have formed peace groups to provide security to the students and professionals from the Northeast states, staying in the Kondhwa and Camp areas. One non-cognisable offence was registered on Sunday afternoon at Kondhwa police station, where some local youth slapped a Nepali citizen working with an eatery as a waiter.
“The police have formed a peace committee at the police station level and at different chowkies. Local residents were taken into confidence and they were bestowed with the responsibility to avert crimes against NE students. We have been successful in the last 48 hours,” said Joint Police Commissioner Sanjeev Kumar Singhal.
Since Sunday, Kondhwa police have arrested 11 persons for allegedly abusing, assaulting and beating up the NE students and professionals. Kondhwa PS has registered about four incidents of violence against NE students since August 8, while the Cantonment PS has registered two cases. One case has been registered with the Hadapsar PS. - With inputs by Gitesh Shelke
• First victim to file case, Manipur student Premananda, quits course and the city
• Other Manipuris say being associated with Assam is main problem, to display State ID
► When Premananda was attacked the second time, his attackers fled when they saw his licence
- Alam M K, President, Manipuri Students’ Union
News Sources: TNN, UNI, Pune Mirror, PTI