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The Lamka Times

Friday, October 30, 2009

DoNER to set up cell to help NE women

NEW DELHI, Oct 29 – In a major initiative to put an end to recurring incidents of violence against students and youths of North-east, the Ministry DoNER has decided to set up 'North-East Connect' in the national capital in close coordination with the North Eastern States. Upset with the recent incidents of attacks on girls hailing from the region, the Ministry DoNER has for the first time decided to step in to provide relief to the beleaguered students of the region studying in the national capital.

The students, particularly girls studying in various institutions in the national capital, would henceforth have to register themselves with the concerned Resident Commissioners (RCs) of their State. The RCs would share the input with the Cell proposed to be set up in the Ministry, which would have the necessary database of all students and youths in the capital.

The idea, Minister DoNER, Bijoy Krishna Handique said, is to set up a helpline though it would not be called as such, but christened 'North-East Connect' would aid the students and youth in distress.

Although this problem of attacks on students has been going on for some time, nothing concrete has been done so far. One or two NGOs which came forward has also not been able to do much. "But now enough is enough," said Handique, reacting to the recent incidents.

"Henceforth, the combined might of the Central Government and the North Eastern State Governments would take up their case with the concerned authority in Delhi," he said.

"Now the State Government concerned would be involved and Ministry DoNER would coordinate," he said.

The new action plan, the Minister told this newspaper, has been set in motion already. Officials of the Ministry DoNER today held meetings with the Resident Commissioners of the North Eastern States and discussed ways to fine tune the new action plan.

The Ministry would also hold discussions with the civil society, NGOs, student bodies and media working in the capital for inputs and suggestions, said Handique.

The Government is no longer going to stand silently and let these existing helplines fight. "We are going to be involved now," he asserted.

Handique said the Ministry would fund the project and ensure that it functions properly.

The Minister said he is particularly upset with the manner in which the case of the 21-year-old woman from Arunachal Pradesh is being handled. The girl was allegedly molested inside a government school in Bharat Nagar in New Friends Colony area of South Delhi on October 23.

About 200 schoolboys surrounded the hapless girl and molested her. The girl, who is a student of Jamia Millia Islamia University, went through the nightmare for about 30 minutes within the school compound. No teacher or guard came to her rescue.

Handique said it is ridiculous that Delhi Police could pick up only two of the culprits despite identifying most of the perpetrators. "We have written to the National Commission for Women and a team is expected to visit the institution on Friday," he said, adding that if need be the issue would be taken up with the Home Ministry on the Delhi Police's conduct.

Meanwhile, repeated attacks on students and youths hailing from the region has provoked students bodies to call for amendment of the Indian Penal Code and the CRPC to introduce a provision to deal with racial discrimination.

The move would take care of the racial abuse faced by the students of the region, said convenor of North East Students Organisation, Sirsa Kharay.

A delegation of the body today called on AICC general secretary, Rahul Gandhi and apprised him about the recent incidents of attacks. They also invited him to take part in a candle march scheduled next month.

Meanwhile, at least four North Eastern MPs including Rishang Keising, Dr Thocksom Meinya, Takam Sanjay and C L Ruala, all members of the North East MPs' Forum, threatened to take to the streets, if the attacks on the North Easterners continue.(AT)


Candle vigil in Munirka for Friday,30 October in memory of MsRamphanchy Hongray

Dear Friends,

In continuation of yesterday's suggestion, we have been in touch with Amrita of SANGAT and friends at Jagori and here are some of the planning process as it stands of today.

Firstly, we learnt that Naga Students Association Delhi are holding a protest march tomorrow at Jantar Mantar at 2 pm. This is great. Amrita is talking to NSUD to see how we can collectively do this together. However, it is also a request that after the Jantar Mantar protest is over at around 4 pm as evening falls, we hold a torch/ candle light vigil in between 4 to 6 pm Munirka Village where the killing took place. This is a must !


So, the vigil once agreed by all can take place tomorrow, Friday, 30 October near A-80, 2nd Floor, Munirka Village, New Delhi-110067 (This is the house where Ms Rampanchy Hongray was killed)

We are now going to Vasant Vihar Police station to get the police permission for this vigil and will keep you posted.

In peace,

Binalakshmi Nepram
Founder, Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network
Secretary General, Control Arms Foundation of India
B 5 / 146, First Floor, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi - 110 029, India

Website : www.cafi-online. org  Email: BNepram@cafi- online.org
Mobile : +91-9868233373 Phone: +91-11-46018541 Fax : +91-11-26166234

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