New Delhi : A 20-year-old lad from Arunachal Pradesh, Nido Tania, succumbed to his injuries after half-a-dozen local shopkeepers allegedly beat him up with sticks after an altercation. The scuffle was ignited by taunts about Tania’s appearance and clothing.
The brutal attack took place in the crowded Lajpat Nagar market in south Delhi on Wednesday afternoon, allegedly leading to internal and other injuries that caused the youngster’s death on Thursday.
The death — dubbed a “racial attack” by activists — caused outrage, with parliamentarians from the northeast deciding to lodge a protest with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday.
The Delhi government has ordered a probe into the “murderous assault” while the Ministry of Home Affairs has sought a report from the Delhi Police.
After there was media outcry, the police registered a case of murder and nabbed two accused — Farhan and Akram — who are also in their 20s and run a paneer shop.
It all began when Tania, a student of Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, and a friend approached the shop seeking directions. Farhan and Akram reportedly made fun of Tania’s hairstyle and clothes. The youngster had coloured his hair blonde and was wearing red trousers. The Arunachal boys protested against the comments, leading to a heated exchange with Farhan and Akram.
The police said a furious Tania, son of Arunachal Pradesh MLA Nido Pavitra, entered the shop and hit a glass-topped table, shattering it.
Alerted by a shopkeeper, the police took Tania and his friend as well as Farhan and Akram to the police station where Tania paid Rs.10000 for breaking the table.
According to Tania’s relatives, the police then dropped the youngster near the shop where another argument erupted.
This time, the accused gave Tania a sound thrashing, his cousin told the media. Later, his friends took him to the All India Institute of Medical Science where he was given a tetanus injection. He succumbed to his injuries overnight in his room at a relative’s house.
Tania had come to Delhi to meet his elder sister who studies in the Delhi University.
The Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party blamed the Delhi Police for the death. “The way police picked him up and then dropped him at the same spot needs to be looked into,” AAP spokesperson Dilip Pandey said.
There have been other incidents of people from the North-East being targeted in the national capital, including rape of a BPO employee.