A day after the death of a teenage student from Arunachal Pradesh, who was beaten by shopkeepers of Lajpat Nagar marker in the national capital, several youngsters from the Northeast on Saturday staged protests at the place where the alleged altercation took place.
Speaking to reporters, one of the students, who was a part of the protests, said they did not intend to fight but were seeking justice for Nido Taniam. He said that those who come from northeastern states of the country respect others and expect the same in return.
The protests come after Taniam was allegedly assaulted as he protested against a shopkeeper’s taunts about his physical appearance. Friends of 19-year-old Nido Taniam last saw him alive at 6 am on Thursday after he had spent a sleepless night, agitated about the previous evening’s incident, and complaining of uneasiness and pain in the chest. The friends assumed he had drifted to sleep after that, but got worried around noon, when they took him to AIIMS. He was declared dead at the hospital. Friends and relatives said Nido, a B.Sc student at Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, had come to Delhi some days ago. Nido was the son of Nido Pavitra, a Congress MLA and parliamentary secretary in the health and family welfare department of the government of Arunachal Pradesh.
On Wednesday afternoon, Nido was in Lajpat Nagar market with a friend. They stopped at Rajasthan Paneer Bhandar in A block to ask for directions. The victim’s friends have alleged that in response, the shopkeeper passed a rude comment about his clothes and the colour of his hair, called him “chinki”, and laughed at him along with some other people at the shop. This allegedly provoked Nido to bang his fist on the shop counter, which shattered the glass and triggered a scuffle between him and the shopkeeper.
According to Nightham Apam, one of Nido’s friends, the shopkeeper and six other men threw chilli powder in Nido’s eyes and beat him. “Nido was beaten with a wooden stick. They also slapped him several times across his face. The shopkeeper called the PCR, and the local police too reached the spot. Both parties were taken to the police station, where police brokered a settlement, and made Nido and his friend shell out Rs 10,000 to pay for the damage at the shop,” Nightham said.
The matter, however, did not end here. According to Nightham, a