Sinlung /
16 October 2014

Attack on Manipuri Student Raises More Questions On The Safety of Outsiders in Bangalore

Bangalore, Oct 16 :
A suspected hate crime was reported in Bangalore where a Manipuri student alleged that he was beaten up by people who demanded he speaks in Kannada. Three people have been arrested in connection with the case.

Speak in Kannada, else flee - this was the kind of threat 22-year-old Michael allegedly faced when he went to have dinner at a roadside eatery in east Bangalore on Tuesday night.

"Three men came to us. One of the miscreants told us to speak in Kannada. He said that we need to speak Kannada as we live in Karnataka and and eat Kannada food. They tried to hit us after that," Michael Lamjathang Haokip said.

Attack on Manipuri student raises more questions on the safety of outsiders in Bangalore

Speak in Kannada, else flee - this was the kind of threat 22-year-old Michael allegedly faced.

Although out of danger now, Michael sustained injuries on his head. What is shocking is the apathy of the onlookers who did not come to the boy's rescue. The engineering student has been living in Bangalore for the past four years.

Even as the terrified student tried to make an escape and reach the Kothanur police station, the group of men followed him. But luckily a police van reached the spot and the men were taken into custody.
The police have booked the three men under the Rowdy Act for assault and intimidation. But they are refusing to call this a racial attack.

"It should not be termed as a racial attack. Even the victim has told that it is not a racial attack. The three people were drunk and were semi-literate people and in their drunken state, they did this. They don't have authority to beat up anyone. That is why we have taken up this case," said Alok Kumar, Additional CP (Law and Order).

This is not a one of a kind incident for Bangalore. In May 2012, another Manipuri student Richard Loitam was found dead under mysterious circumstances triggering protests across the country. Months after that, a mass exodus of northeastern Indians from Bangalore was triggered by a hoax SMS, threatening the community.

The latest incident only raises more questions about the safety of outsiders in Bangalore.


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