Pune , Aug 14-While nine persons were arrested for allegedly targeting and attacking students from the northeast, the police are still probing the reason for the assaults. Ten persons were beaten up the past week, prompting fear among the community in the city.
Some of the victims have claimed that they were asked by their attackers if they were from Assam, leading the investigators to question if the assaults were a fallout of the Bodo-Muslim riots in Assam, which also sparked the protest and subsequent violence in Mumbai on Saturday.
An officer, requesting anonymity, stated that clips of violence in Assam have been circulated in the city, leading to the attacks. Students and professionals were attacked on August 8, 9 and 11 by groups of youngsters in Kondhwa and Cantonment areas of Pune.
Kahomdai Panmei, a 28-year-old professional, who was attacked on August 8 said: “I don’t know why I was attacked. I was beaten up with iron rods, without knowing what my mistake is.” Premanand Khomdrom was attacked on Thursday, which has led the police to see a coordinated plan behind the attacks.
The victims, however, have asked for support from the locals. “We do not know why people are attacking us. We just want to tell them we are not the ones causing violence in Assam, or in Myanmar. We are simple people: all we want is to study and work in peace in Pune,” Rock Lungleng from the North-East Students’ Forum said. He said the police were cooperative.
“The incident has sparked panic even amongst our parents. They want us to come back. But we are fine, the local community is supporting us,” he said. At a meeting held on Sunday, the police assured them of security, and stated that even leaders of various communities had been told to help them.
Premanand Khomdram, who works in a shop on Fergusson College Road, told TOI that he was attacked by some people while he was on his way home near Ramtekdi. “I told them I am from Manipur, but they were in no mood to listen,” he said.
Khomdram said he initially managed to give them the slip, but the attackers soon caught up with him. They took him to a secluded place and thrashed him severely. “I showed them my driving licence, which is from Manipur. On seeing that they left from the spot,” he said.
He said he called the police control room. The police came and asked him to go to the Sassoon hospital for treatment. He went to Sassoon from where his friend took him to a private hospital. At present, Khomdram is recovering from his injuries at home.
No case has been registered in this regard with the city police
Man from Darjeeling attacked on NIBM Road
TNN | Aug 14, 2012, 02.18AM IST
About 80% northeast students in Kondhwa from Manipur’
Neha Madaan, TNN | Aug 14, 2012, 02.17AM IST
“The attackers are illiterate and young, and do not have knowledge about the people from the north eastern states. Though four states share border with Burma, they are separate entities and not a part of Burma. The attackers mistook people from northeast for Burmese people, as they all have Mongoloid features,” said Alam M K, president of the Manipur Students’ Union in Pune.
Rock Lungleng, the convenor of the Interim Forum, said, “About 80% of the north eastern students in Kondhwa are from Manipur, in a geographical sense. That is why they seem to form a majority of the victims.” An ‘Interim Forum’ was formed on August 10 by the representatives of all existing northeast Students’ bodies in Pune in the wake of recent attacks in the city.
The reason why most of them prefer Kondhwa is because of low rent and the area’s proximity to educational institutions. “You can get a 1 bhk here for Rs 3,000. I stay in a 2 BHK and pay Rs 8,000 which is very reasonable. Also, Kondhwa is more convenient for us since our friends have been staying here since long.Gradually, all of our community have come to stay here. Whenever a north eastern student shifts to Pune, he automatically settles in Kondhwa. Its proximity to educational institutions such as the Poona College and Abeda Inamdar Senior College help,” saidJacob V Khiangte, president, Mizo Students’ Union in Pune.
Police to hold meetings in colleges to build confidence
TNN | Aug 14, 2012, 02.16AM IST
PUNE: Deputy commissioner of police Makarand Ranade on Monday held a meeting with students from the northeast, who are studying in Fergusson college, following attacks on some students from the region in the last two to three days.
Ranade said, three other colleges, including theSymbiosis College of Arts and Commerce, ILS Law College and the Abasaheb Garware College, have a sizeable number of students from the northeast. Similar interaction will be held with them to instill confidence among them, he added.
Ranade is expected to visit Symbiosis College on Tuesday. “We are in the process of holding talks with students from the northeast so that they feel safe in the city. We have told students at theFergusson college to inform us if they face any problem. We have ensured them that immediate action will be taken against troublemakers,” Ranade said.
Fergusson College and Symbiosis College each have about 100 students from the northeast, while Garware College and the ILS Law College have close to 25 students each.
Ranade said, “We have asked all the four colleges to prepare a list of northeast students along with details of their addresses and contact numbers so that we have a database ready in case of an emergency.”
Vikas Kakatkar of Deccan Education Society, which runs the Fergusson College, said, “In view of the incidents that took place in the city in the last week, we thought that the police should build confidence among the students and ensure them that they are safe in the city. The police have also given their contact numbers to the students so that they can contact them in emergencies.”
A student from Fergusson College said, “The police have extended support to us. The talk with them was encouraging and we feel safe because of their support.”
Symbiosis principal director Vidya Yeravdekar said, “So far none of the students from our college have come up with complaints. However, there is anxiety among them following the attacks and, hence, it is necessary that they are given protection. The interaction with the police will definitely help build confidence among them.”