Two Manipuri women were allegedly molested and beaten up by some men who hurled racist abuses at them in South Delhi, the second incident of targeting of people from north-east in a week.
The incident, which occurred in Kotla Mubarakpur area on January 25 evening, came to light following an uproar over the death of a student from northeast, Nido Tania, who was allegedly assaulted by shopkeepers on January 29.
Facing criticism over "delay" in filing an FIR and alleged inaction, police today arrested a 32-year-old man from Kotla Mubarakpur area, seven days after the incident. The accused, Prem Chand, is a resident of Kotla Mubarakpur area. Police have booked him under sections of SC/ST Act, besides various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) in the case after a supplementary statement by victims' male friend was filed four days later.
According to police, the two women were beaten up by a group of men, who were in their late 20s. One of the victims, who worked at a shopping mall, had gone to buy some Manipuri herbs from a shop, owned by her acquaintance from north-eastern region at around 9.30 PM on the day. When she reached the shop a youth came with a pet dog.
As the stretch, in which shop was situated, was reportedly narrow, the leash of the dog got entangled with the woman's shoes. She got frightened and in panic kicked the animal to get rid of it, according to the compliant. While the dog fled from the spot, the youth started arguing with the woman after which her friend who is the shop owner also intervened.
Around this time, Chand, the owner of the dog, also came to the spot and the argument turned violent. Chand, along with some locals, started beating both the women. The women were reportedly not only thrashed but also molested in full public view. Locals also allegedly hurled lewd and raciest remarks at the victims. The two victims alleged that none of the locals came to help them and when they reached the police station to lodge an FIR, policemen were initially reluctant to register a case.
The case was registered only the next day after leaders of some Northeast outfits intervened.
The capital has witnessed protests over the death of 19-year-old Tania, son of Arunachal Pradesh Congress MLA and Parliamentary Secretary in Health and Family Welfare Department Nido Pavitra. He died after he was allegedly beaten up by some shopkeepers in Lajpat Nagar in South Delhi following an altercation sparked by their taunts on his hairstyle.
When the incident was reported with the police on January 25, police registered an FIR under 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 352 (Punishment for assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation) and 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) read with 34 (common intention), a senior police officer said. "After a supplementary statement came on January 29, by a male friend of the victim who was also injured in the incident, police added section 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 427 (Mischief causing damage), 394 (Voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery) of IPC and section 3 (11) of SC/ST Act in the case," he said. "Investigations are going on and efforts are being made to nab others who are involved in the case," said police.