A mes­sage needs to be sent: Up to 10 yrs in jail for 4 in racist at­tacks that killed youth Case forced cops to boost se­cu­rity for NE peo­ple

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The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - [email protected] times­group.com THE TIMES OF IN­DIA, NEW DELHI | SATUR­DAY, SEPTEM­BER 7, 2019 TIMES NEWS NET­WORK

New Delhi: Four men ac­cused of killing Nido Ta­nia, son of an Arunachal Pradesh leg­is­la­tor, in the city five years ago were sen­tenced to im­pris­on­ment on Fri­day. All were found guilty of cul­pa­ble homi­cide not amount­ing to mur­der.

Say­ing that an in­no­cent boy had lost his life through the “ab­hor­rent acts” of the quar­tet, ad­di­tional ses­sions judge San­deep Ya­dav said, “A def­i­nite mes­sage needs to be given so that cit­i­zens, par­tic­u­larly from the north-east­ern re­gion, feel safe in any part of the coun­try.”

Main ac­cused Far­man was awarded a 10-year jail term, while Pawan and Sun­der were sen­tenced to seven years each and Sunny Up­pal to three years in jail. Each was also slapped with a fine Rs 20,000.

They were con­victed un­der Sec­tion 304 of the In­dian Pe­nal Code for cul­pa­ble homi­cide not amount­ing to mur­der. The court was of the opin­ion that the 20-year-old Ta­nia was as­saulted by the ac­cused at three dif­fer­ent places and sub­ject to racist taunts. For the court, the fact of his as­sault demon­strated an in­ten­tion to cause in­juries to the vic­tim. Ta­nia died on Jan­uary 30, 2014.

A day ear­lier, Ta­nia had en­quired about an ad­dress at a shop in La­j­pat Na­gar. Far­man and three ju­ve­niles were in the shop and on see­ing Ta­nia re­port­edly laughed and passed racist slurs at the Arunachal youth and his friend. De­spite Ta­nia plead­ing that he was in a hurry to reach the ad­dress be­cause his friend liv­ing there was in need of med­i­cal as­sis­tance, the quar­tet did not cease laugh­ing. An­noyed, Ta­nia broke the glass counter of the shop.

Far­man and the ju­ve­niles ap­par­ently beat Ta­nia with a stick. The lat­ter re­gret­ted his act and paid for the bro­ken glass, but his as­saulters were in no mood to spare him. They slapped him and punched him mer­ci­lessly. He re­turned to his sis­ter’s house but was found

Ta­nia suf­fered nine in­juries on dif­fer­ent parts of his

body dead in bed the next morn­ing.

A chargeshee­t filed in May 2014 by the Cen­tral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion named seven peo­ple as ac­cused, in­clud­ing four adults and the three mi­nors. One ju­ve­nile went ab­scond­ing and the two oth­ers were re­leased on pro­ba­tion. Far­man, Pawan, Sun­dar and Up­pal were tried and con­victed. In Oc­to­ber 2014,

➤ charges un­der the strin­gent SC/ST Act were dropped against the four ac­cused af­ter the court ob­served the pros­e­cu­tion had failed to es­tab­lish that it was a case in­volv­ing “racist slurs”.

Judge Ya­dav con­sid­ered the se­quence of events that demon­strated the “crim­i­nal mind set” of con­victs. “Deter­rent the­ory of pun­ish­ment will be most ap­pro­pri­ate for ap­pli­ca­tion in such cases,” he said. The court found Far­man to be the “main cul­prit” in the episode. “Con­vict Far­man as­saulted Ta­nia at all three places. Con­vict Pawan and Sun­der par­tic­i­pated in the crime and as­saulted him at two places. Up­pal was in­volved in only one in­ci­dent of beat­ing,” ob­served the court. New Delhi: Till not too long ago, peo­ple from north-east In­dia had to run from pil­lar to post to regis­ter a com­plaint with Delhi Po­lice. The Nido Ta­nia killing changed the way the city’s po­lice han­dled their griev­ances. Af­ter the Jan­uary 2014 in­ci­dent, the cops took a slew of mea­sures re­lated to peo­ple from that re­gion, in­clud­ing the set­ting up of a phone helpline and a new po­lice unit to deal with their needs.

Fol­low­ing Ta­nia’s death in an ap­par­ent racist as­sault, Delhi Po­lice came un­der fire from rights groups for fail­ing to act on the com­plaint filed by friends of the 20-year-old Arunachal Pradesh youth. There were protests de­mand­ing proper treat­ment for the North­east­ern­ers, lead­ing po­lice to put in place mea­sures for their se­cu­rity in Delhi.

BS Bassi and Deepak Mishra, then the po­lice com­mis­sioner and spe­cial com­mis­sioner (law and order), re­spec­tively, be­gan re­cruit­ing po­lice­men and women from the North­east to man the helpdesks at po­lice sta­tions in the city. A yearly re­cruit­ment drive is still con­ducted to se­lect such can­di­dates. Delhi Po­lice has al­ready re­cruited more than 1,000 cops, among them 15 sub-in­spec­tors.

In 2015, a spe­cial unit led by Robin Hibu, then posted as joint com­mis­sioner with Delhi Po­lice, was formed. The Spe­cial Po­lice Unit for North East­ern Re­gion (SPUNER), with its of­fice in south Delhi’s Nanakpura, be­gan deal­ing with cases of ha­rass­ment of peo­ple from the eight north-east­ern states. Hibu roped in stu­dents from the re­gion study­ing in Delhi Uni­ver­sity to form a core group that would act as the nodal point for peo­ple from the North­east and the cops.

A helpline, 1093, was started and manned by cops re­cruited from those states. Delhi Po­lice also launched a Face­book page for the peo­ple to sub­mit their con­cerns. Along­side ap­point­ing nodal of­fi­cers to main­tain close con­tacts with the north-east­ern groups and as­so­ci­a­tions, po­lice also iden­ti­fied cer­tain pockets such as Mu­nirka and Dwarka, where peo­ple from the re­gion re­side in good num­bers.

“We have come a long way since then,” said Hibu Ta­mang, ad­di­tional CP and cur­rent head of SPUNER. “Apart from look­ing af­ter the se­cu­rity of the peo­ple from the north-east­ern states, we are also or­gan­is­ing cul­tural ex­changes to bridge the gap be­tween peo­ple from that re­gion and the rest of the coun­try.

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