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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1592

Life is a nightmare for North-East girls in New Delhi

From R. Vasudevan—Reporting from New Delhi
New Delhi, 16 March (

The Capital city of India has become a daily nightmare for women from the North-East of the country who come to study or for work. Increasing incidents of molestation of girls from North-East have caused tension among the hundreds of girls, who prefer to live in groups in low-rent colonies.

In the latest incident on Saturday, a 26-year-old Manipuri student was molested in Munirka, south Delhi. The victim, however, did not give up, caught him and handed him over to the police. The woman, a hotel management student, said that the police refused to register a case initially. It was only after members of her community protested that it was done.

"I was returning after picking up my cousin when a man molested me. I ran after him and caught him," the victim said. She added that it was only after they had argued with the police for two hours that a case was registered. "It was so shocking, being molested in such a crowded place. When I dragged him (accused) to the nearby police booth, the cop refused to take any action. He asked me to shut up," said the victim. She added that by that time another person from her community, rushed to her help.

The accused identified as Virendra Singh (26) was arrested. Police said Singh works as a waiter at the nearby restaurant. The incident was reported around 11.45 pm on Saturday when the victim was returning with her cousin who works with a hotel.

This is just one of the incidents involving a girl from North-East. Reports indicate that the community of about 100,000 people from the north-eastern states is under threat – virtually any day, any time – of assault, molestation, or murder. As many as 16 severe cases of molestation, rape and other forms of extreme cruelty perpetuated in Delhi against people from the North-East were recorded in 2009.

The worst cases of atrocities against people from the North-East staying in Delhi include the murder by Pushpam Kumar Sinha, 34, of a young girl from Manipur; molestation of a girl from Arunachal by school boys; molestation of a girl from Nagaland; and assault on a couple from Nagaland. At Sarojini Nagar in South Delhi, a girl from the North-East was dragged into a van.

However, after the girl raised a hue and cry, passersby caught hold of one of the assailants and beat him up.

Many members of the North-East community complain that the police have been slow to act. About 4,000 students from the North-East take admission to various courses in Delhi University (DU) each year.

A survey conducted by the North-East Support Centre and Helpline has revealed that 86% (or about 86,000) people hailing from the north-eastern states and living in Delhi face some sort of discrimination or the other “on a daily basis.”

The girls complain that people in Delhi call them ‘Chinky’ and such other derogatory names, and the policemen ridicule them when they go to the police station to lodge a complaint.

The police, in fact, have suggested a “dress code” for girls from North-East who are mostly slim, fair and wear shorts and tight T-shirts, giving the conservative Delhi males an impression of being “loose”. This leads to lewd comments and eve-teasing, and worse, physical assaults.

The girls, however, argue that they will stick to the dress which is common in their region. The girls easily get part-time jobs in restaurants, fast-food joints and bars due to their attractive looks. Besides, employers prefer them for efficiency and courteous nature.

- Asian Tribune -

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