Migrants & Parochialism in Delhi: Lessons from Nido Tania’s Death

Nido TaniaParochialism is the main villain. This villain is playing havoc in Delhi often. Yesterday’s killing of Nido Tania a first year student of a private university in Punjab for protesting racial comments about him is a devastating news.

Delhi has been very insensitive city with migrants forming the majority of the population. It is high time that the capital city gets sensitised and sanitized. Another incident like this should never happen again.

Times of India reports on 1.2.2014

A first-year student of a private university in Punjab, son of an Arunachal Pradesh MLA, died after being severely assaulted by a mob in Lajpat Nagar on Wednesday. The attack was provoked by the student’s protest against a racial taunt and, by all accounts, those who witnessed the shameful incident didn’t care to intervene.

The 19-year-old student, Nido Tania, wasn’t expecting the assault since he had paid off a shop-owner whose glass counter he had smashed in a fit of rage. But once the cops had left, he was beaten up brutally and died at a friend’s place in his sleep.

Tania’s father, Nido Parimal, is an MLA from Raga constituency in Arunachal Pradesh. The police have registered a case of murder under section 302 of IPC and are probing the matter. A magisterial inquiry has been ordered.

Joint commissioner of police Robin Hibu has been roped in to help in the probe. “We have detained three persons and are questioning them. Apart from a case of murder, we have also added sections of the law relating to prevention of atrocities against SCs and STs in the FIR,” Hibu told TOI. He added that further action will be taken based on the postmortem report.

According to AIIMS sources, the initial findings of the autopsy indicate that internal injuries may have caused the death though this is not conclusive. Viscera samples have been sent for further toxicology examination.

The incident has once again highlighted how despite some lip-service, Delhi Police personnel have not been sensitized to problems that may arise from racial prejudices and stereotyping. Tania should have been escorted to safety and not left among people whom he had antagonized and who had already turned violent.
Tania lived in Jalandhar and was a student of BA first year in Lovely Professional University. He was in Delhi on a holiday and had been staying with a friend at a house in Green Park Extension.
The incident took place when Tania had gone to the area to meet a friend. According to his family and friends, around 1:30pm on Wednesday, he entered a shop, Rajdhani Paneer Bhandar, to ask for the address as he was unable to locate the house.
Shopkeeper Farman allegedly mocked him for his dyed hair and made a racial comment. “He hurled a racial slur at him,” alleged Nido Jose Apil, his uncle. “It wasn’t the first time that he was made fun of because of his hair. He had faced it earlier too and used to get angry about it,” said his cousin brother Pota Nada. This led to an argument. Tania lost his cool and smashed the glass counter of the shop. The shopkeeper called out to the labourers working around the shop and they began to thrash him. Meanwhile, the police were called and Tania was handed over.

Unknown to the cops, Tania and the shopkeeper had already reached a compromise and he had agreed to pay him for the damage. The family claimed he paid Rs 11,000. “He paid the money though he wasn’t at fault,” said Apil. “There was a brawl and the cops had arrived. We rushed out and saw this boy, whose hair was dyed blond, bleeding. The shop owner, Farman, told us he had vandalized his property,” said Ajit Singh, a neighbour.

When the cops took Tania to the Lajpat Nagar police station around 2pm, he refused to file a complaint and gave them in writing that he had compromised with the shop owner. To confirm his claim, the police went back with him to the spot. “Farman told the cops that Tania had paid him and they didn’t want to pursue the case. After that the cops left. But Farman had by then called more men and they all thrashed him,” said Apil.

None of the shopkeepers and residents intervened to save Tania. Brijesh Kumar, who sells cigarettes and paan, said: “We heard people abusing at the top of their voice. But when the cops came, we knew it would be settled. I didn’t leave my shop as people get into a scuffle here every other day.”

Tania apparently got a tetanus injection on the way back to his friend’s house. According to his friends, he reportedly complained of chest pain at night and took a painkiller. “He drank some milk but threw up within a few minutes,” said Vinay, one of his friends.

On Thursday afternoon around 1pm when his friend tried to wake him up, he found Tania wasn’t responding. He was rushed to AIIMS where he was declared brought dead. Sources in AIIMS said he would have died by 4am.

“Tania had told us he was feeling unwell when he had gone to his friend’s place but we could not understand what had happened,” said Nido Shanti, Tania’s aunt.



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