Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sent a letter to all the states and Union Territories, asking them to book offenders guilty of atrocity against people from the region under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act since a significant number of persons from the North-East belong to the Scheduled Tribes, as per India Today report.
There was mass protest against alleged discrimination against people of North Eastern part of India after two students died, one in Bangalore another in NCR. Even a chief minister of Meghalaya had protested against racial discrimination in a media briefing in Delhi.
In the letter, MHA joint secretary (centre-state) S. Suresh Kumar has admitted that people from the North-East do face abuse in major cities and feel insecure.
“A sizeable number of persons belonging to the North-Eastern states are residing in metropolitan cities and in major urban areas of the country for education and employment. It is reported that people originating from these North-Eastern states are facing discrimination as they are addressed with derogatory adjectives or face discrimination in the form of targeted attacks, assault, molestation and other atrocities,”
“This has caused considerable anguish and distress in the minds of people from the North-East. Hence, it is of utmost importance that this feeling of insecurity and negativity in the minds of the people should be assuaged by an adequate and pro-active response that would not only reassure them but also prove that the government would not tolerate discrimination in any form,” it adds.
Not just the victim, but anyone who knows that an offence has been committed under the Act can lodge a complaint. The police are empowered under the Act to arrest the offender without any warrant and launch an investigation.
“If the complainant from the North-East is a member of the Scheduled Tribes, then the provision of Section 4 of the SC/ ST Act should be invoked,” the letter states.
Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/north-east-racial-slur-home-ministry-sc–st-act-jail-term/1/198828.html