The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) has condemned reported incidents of violent attacks and racial discrimination against the students and the public from the region after the outbreak of COVID-19.
“Reports of violent attacks and racial discrimination against the students and public from the region have been on the rise from various parts of mainland India after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic,” the NESO said.
The students’ body said they have strongly condemned the “recurring incidence of violence and discriminations due to physical appearance meted out to the indigenous peoples from the Northeastern states who are studying and working in different cities and parts of mainland India”.
The incidents of discrimination against the students and people from the Northeast are very “disheartening considering that the world at large is striving together to restrict the spread of deadly COVID-19”, it said.
“The humiliations they had to undergo apart from the mental distress of staying away from their love and dear ones, does not augur well for the diverse country that India is,” a statement issued by NESO chairman Samuel B. Jyrwa and secretary general Sinam Prakash Singh said.
The NESO appealed to the Central government to put in place all necessary arrangements in order “to ensure the physical and emotional wellbeing of the Northeast community in various parts of the country”.
Further, the students’ organization further suggested that the respective chief ministers of the northeastern states actively liaise with their counterparts in various states in order to ensure that the perpetrators of hate crimes from various parts of the country are brought to book.
The students’ body also sought measures so that “future occurrences of such unwanted incidents are completely avoided”.
The NESO comprises eight major students’ bodies representing seven northeastern states.
They are Khasi Students’ Union(KSU), All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), Twipra Students’ Federation (TSF), All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), Garo Students’ Union (GSU) and All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU).