Indian media: 'Hate crimes' against students from north-east

Students from India's north-eastern states say they are often racially discriminated in Delhi Image copyright AFP
Image caption Students from India's north-eastern states say they are often racially discriminated in Delhi

Media are concerned over continuing attacks on students from the north-eastern states in the capital, Delhi.

Two students were allegedly beaten on Monday in what many described as "hate crimes" against people from the north-east.

One of the students has been discharged from a local hospital, while the other is still receiving medical treatment, reports say. The Delhi police are inquiring into the incident.

Nido Tania, another student from the north-east, was beaten on 5 February by shopkeepers who had ridiculed his appearance. He died the next day due to internal injuries, his post-mortem report says.

These cases highlight discrimination faced by indigenous minorities from India's north-east, who are ethnically closer to people in Burma and China.

The Outlook website says these cases "further reinforce growing concerns over the safety of people from the north-eastern region in the national capital".

Insurgency and violence have marked life in the north-east for many years and the states have been unable to share the fruits of India's economic growth.

Much of the isolation of the north-eastern states, collectively called The Seven Sisters of India, can be attributed to violence and a conspicuous presence of Indian troops in the region.

The constant struggle between the separatist groups and government troops has adversely affected tourism and business sentiments in the region.

Many youths find it safer to leave their hometowns and head to the big cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore in search of better jobs and education. But their exodus to bigger cities only marks the start of their struggle.

A report in the Times of India says "parents in the north-eastern states are now apprehensive about sending their children to Delhi for education or employment in view of the attacks".

For the Hindustan Times, such attacks have "once again exposed the deep racial hatred that some people harbour against those who come from the north-east of the country".

"In India, caste-based divisions are deep-rooted and race will now be added to this segment," the paper adds.

President's appeal

Moving on to a big story from the world of sports, media feel the recent indictment of a top cricket team official over allegations of betting in the Indian Premier League has further "cast a shadow" over the credibility of the tournament.

An inquiry panel's report said Gurunath Meiyappan of the Chennai Super Kings team passed on information to illegal bookmakers during last year's edition of the tournament.

The Business Standard says "the development has cast a shadow on the world's richest cricket property".

In political news, President Pranab Mukherjee has urged MPs not to waste parliament's time by disrupting proceedings.

"The parliament functions through debate, dissension and finally decision and not through disruption," the DNA newspaper quotes him as saying.

Indian MPs' frequent walk-outs and "shouting matches" have been criticised by the media and members of the public in the past few years.

And finally, a man in the central state of Madhya Pradesh has decided to worship his mobile phone after it saved his life from a tigress, The Times of India reports.

Beniram Rangdale had gone to the jungle to look out for his missing cattle when a tigress chased him. He managed to distract the animal briefly to climb a tree and then used his mobile phone to call for help.

His phone has now found a place in the prayer room of his house alongside the idols of gods and goddesses, the paper adds.

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