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Nido Taniam's friend's eyewitness account of what actually happened
People from the North East are still in a state of shock after learning about the unfortunate death of a 20 year old boy from Arunachal Pradesh, Nido Taniam last week. Nido was a first year student of Lovely Professional University. He lost his life after getting beaten up by a number of persons in Lajpat Nagar, Delhi. But, what actually happened that led to his death? His friend, Lokam, spoke to me as to what really transpired during the day.

Nido, along with three of his friends, including Lokam had gone to Lajpat Nagar, primarily in search of a particular address. The four friends formed two groups of two persons each to track the address. Nido and Lokam looked for help nearby. Nido at the sight of a shop walked to that place, hoping to track the address, but instead of help, Nido was mocked by around four men for his hairstyle, which wore a blonde look.

''They started laughing and began to mock at his hairstyle. Nido smashed the glass counter,'' said Lokam. He further added, ''After this some more people came and started to beat Nido. He was hit with full venom by many a men. More than 20 full blown punches landed on Nido's face from all sides. He was also beaten with sticks.'' Lokam believes that it is the hard punches on Nido's face that eventually might have led to his death. Whatever attempt Lokam made to rescue Nido from the blows, failed, as he was the only person trying to do so. He was helpless, as someone had caught him.

So is it justified for these men to attack a young man such mercilessly for just breaking the glass? If they wanted to teach him a lesson, a few blows could have done the trick, but their blows did not come to an end. They also had the option of calling the cops, but these men took the matter in their own hands. Though, sometime later, a PCR came and then took Nido away to the police station, while Lokam had to go home. But, to the amazement of many, Nido was later dropped at the same place by the police where he was beaten up. One fails to understand as to why did the police leave Nido at a place, where the scene had taken place. This was in fact an invitation for these attackers to have another go at him. That is exactly what happened.

Lokam said, ''Though, I was not there when he was dropped by the police in that area, but Nido later told me that he was once again beaten in that same place.'' It could have been better had Nido headed over to the hospital for some treatment, as he had received several injuries from the thrashing, but Nido only went for a tetanus injection. '' Nido did not complain of any pain. Though, I told him that he will feel the pain during the night.'' The beating had taken a huge toll on him, so it was difficult for him to sleep. ''Nido was in a state of shock. We could not sleep the entire night,'' added Lokam.

Somehow, Nido could only sleep early morning, around 4 am. ''He slept in the bed with one of my friend, while I slept in the sofa. It was around 2 pm, when the person sleeping with Nido woke me up and said, Nido is not waking up.'' Lokam immediately called up an ambulance and was taken to the AIIMS hospital, where he was declared brought dead.

People, irrespective of where they come from or who he is, has the right to colour and style their hair as and how they want. People mock north-eastern for the way they look - their small eyes, the way they speak along with many other things. Add to this list now – hairstyle as well. If this is not discrimination, can somebody explain the term better?

Though, there has been a number of such cases, where people from the north east have been attacked, molested, sexually assaulted etc also bordering on the lines of racial discrimination, but still no strict measures are taken against the culprit by the respective authorities. Such ineffectiveness will always make people from the north east vulnerable.

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