Govt accepts Bezbaruah panel report on north eastern people
Yogesh Rajput | January 2, 2015
The Central government has approved the recommendations of M P Bezbaruah committee, which was formed in February 2014, to look into the various concerns of citizens hailing from the North Eastern states living in different parts of the country and to suggest suitable remedial measures by the government. The committee was set up after a 19-year-old student from Arunachal Pradesh, Nido Tania, died in New Delhi after being attacked.
Briefing the media, Union home minister Rajnath Singh said that the Indian Penal Code (IPC) would be amended with insertion of new sections - 153C (imputations, assertions prejudicial to human dignity) and 509A (word, gesture or act intended to insult a member of a particular racial group or of any race) - as recommended by the committee. In addition, a panel of seven lawyers including five women lawyers has been constituted by the Delhi State Legal Service Authority (DSLSA) to provide legal assistance to people from the North East. The Delhi government would also be providing compensation and monetary assistance to the people from the North East under Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme 2011.
Singh added that all recommendations made by the committee regarding special police initiatives and additional steps to be taken by the various state police forces and the Delhi Police have been accepted for immediate implementation. Under these, the Delhi police would be recruiting 20 police personnel (10 male and female each) from the North Eastern states. A police exchange programme has also been approved between North Eastern states and metropolitan cities including Delhi. All police departments including the Delhi Police are being advised to post personnel from the North East in their force in vulnerable areas prone to crime against people from this community.
In addition, the North East Special Unit at New Delhi has been activated to address grievances of people from the North East and other states have been advised to follow the same. Relief would also be provided in courts as now any crime against people from North East would be referred to the existing fast track courts for an early decision.
A special helpline No - 1093 for people from North East is being synchronized with helpline No 100 in the capital. Meanwhile, other states have also been advised to set up a special helpline in this regard.
Singh added that some recommendations, part of which relate to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, have already been initiated. In order to educate public about the North East, universities have been advised that history of North East and its participation in the freedom movement of the country should be taught at graduation and post-graduation level and curriculum be changed accordingly. Similar action is being taken by the NCERT with respect to elementary and higher secondary education, Singh said.
A special scholarship scheme ‘Ishan Uday’ for students of North East region has been launched from the academic session 2014-15 providing 10,000 scholarships ranging from Rs.3,500 to Rs.5,000 per month for studying at under-graduate level in colleges and universities of the country. Under ‘Ishan Vikas’ scheme, selected students from school and college levels from the North Eastern states would be taken to Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), National Institute of Technology (NITs) and other engineering institutes for exposure and internship programme.
Singh further said that the Ministries of Culture, Tourism, Information & Broadcasting have also planned to roll out programs for bridging the gap between the peoples of the North-Eastern region and the rest of the country. They include chalking out an action plan for educating the people about the rich cultural heritage of the North Eastern states and its wider coverage and promotion at the national level. The North East film festival and North East festival would be organized annually at New Delhi, showcasing the region’s culture, films, foods, sports etc.
Besides, the Ministry of Sports has also been roped in to identify talented sports persons from the North East with the help of state governments for arranging their training in reputed sports training centers. The sports ministry is also taking action for organizing sports tournaments and events in the North Eastern states, Singh added. An amount of Rs.100 crore has also been earmarked for setting up of National Sports University in Manipur.
The union minister said that the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) being the nodal agency for development of the remote region is in the process of clearing the proposal for construction of a hostel at the Jawaharlal Nehru University and four other colleges at Delhi. The Ministry is also exploring effective measures to deal with the problem of accommodation and high rent faced by the students and professionals from the North East in Delhi. The Delhi government is also being advised to initiate measures to resolve the problem of low or non-payment of wages being faced by the people from the North East.
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This piece is based on a previous article by the authors published in Geoforum [Elsevier] in May 2019: available online: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/ S0016718519300764?via%3Dihub
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