TODAY -

Another North-Eastern Youth Goes Missing in the Capital

06th October 2017



INDIA: Another North-Eastern Youth Goes Missing in the Capital
ISSUES: Police apathy, Unexplained Disappearances, Lack of Security


Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has taken note of reports about the disappearance of a young man from Manipur in New Delhi. There have been many instances of youth from the northeast going missing in the National Capital Region (NCR), which is significant in light of the numerous reports of violence and racism in the area against such persons.

Case Narrative:

The AHRC has received information from the Youth Forum for the Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR) about the disappearance of Taorem Bitoo Singh, a 32-year-old man from Manipur, who has been reported missing since 13 September 2017. Bitoo had come to New Delhi on 27 August to take care of his ailing mother, and was staying in the Kishangarh Vasant Kunj area with his elder brother.

On 13 September, at around 4.45 p.m., Bitoo left his brother’s home to take a walk in Masli Park, as per his usual routine. By around 8 p.m., his family began to panic as he still had not returned, and so his elder brother and some friends searched for him in the surrounding areas and in Masli Park.

As they were unable to locate him, they then visited the Vasant Kunj North Police Station and filed a missing persons complaint. On 16 September, Bitoo’s photo was circulated around some parts of New Delhi, and announcements relating to his disappearance were made via loudspeaker. His brother was then informed that he had been seen around the area of B1 Basantpur, which he subsequently relayed to the police. However, as of the date of publication of this Urgent Appeal, Bitoo’s location has not been traced.

Background:

The AHRC had earlier reported on the disappearance of another man, Chanam Pravish, from Manipur in the capital, who was later found to be dead from suspicious causes and was cremated by the police without the permission of his family. Subsequent to Bitoo’s disappearance, a memorandum has been submitted to the Chief Minister of Manipur by the Thangmeiband United Club regarding the matter, and encouraging an investigation into the widespread disappearances of persons of north-eastern descent in the capital.

Prior to this, the death of Nido Tania, a young man from Arunachal Pradesh, had captured headlines for the brutal manner of his death and for the racially-tinged aspect of the violence against him. The Bezbaruah Committee was then constituted, to address the matter of racial violence and hatred towards north-eastern persons in metros. The Committee submitted its report to the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2014, and made several recommendations. These included the inclusion of a specific provision within the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for hate crimes, and the appointment of a Special Prosecutor and creation of Fast-Track Courts and Special Police Squads to deal with such offences. The Committee further recommended that campaigns are undertaken in schools and on social media to raise awareness about racial violence and to dispel negative stereotypes about north-eastern people.

Additional Information:

In Karma Dorjee v. Union of India [Civil Writ Petition 103 of 2014], the Supreme Court had issued a slew of orders, which included the setting up of a three-person panel to address the growing issue of racial violence and hate crimes against north-eastern people in the capital, which would also oversee the implementation of the Bezbaruah Report. It also accepted most other recommendations by the Bezbaruah Committee, although it did not comment on the inclusion of a specific hate-crime provision in the IPC. The Court also relied on the obligations of the Indian State according to the Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in observing that there was a duty to ensure that the rights guaranteed to all citizens under Part III of the Constitution, were freely available to members of oppressed communities, including persons from the north-east.

Suggested Action:

Please write letters to the relevant authorities, requesting them to take the matter seriously and to address the issues laid out in this Urgent Appeal.

To support this case, please click here:


SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Sir/Ma’am,

INDIA: Another North-Eastern Youth Goes Missing in the Capital

Name of Victim: Taorem Bitoo Singh, aged about 32 years.

Name of Alleged Perpetrators: Unknown

Place of Incident: New Delhi

I am writing to you on the basis of information received from the Youth Forum for the Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR) about the disappearance of Taorem Bitoo Singh, a 32-year-old man from Manipur, who has been reported missing since 13 September 2017. Bitoo had come to New Delhi on 27 August to take care of his ailing mother, and was staying in the Kishangarh Vasant Kunj area with his elder brother.

On 13 September, at around 4.45 p.m., Bitoo left his brother’s home to take a walk in Masli Park, as per his usual routine. By around 8 p.m., his family began to panic as he still had not returned, and so his elder brother and some friends searched for him in the surrounding area and Masli Park. As they were unable to locate him, they then visited the Vasant Kunj North Police Station and filed a missing persons complaint. On 16 September, Bitoo’s photo was circulated around some parts of New Delhi, and announcements relating to his disappearance were made via loudspeaker. His brother was then informed that he had been seen around the area of B1 Basantpur, which he subsequently relayed to the police. However, as of the date of publication of this Urgent Appeal, Bitoo’s location has not been traced.

There have been many instances of youth from the northeast going missing in the National Capital Region, which is significant in light of the numerous reports of violence and racism in the area against such persons. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) had earlier reported on the disappearance of another man from Manipur, Chanam Pravish, in the capital, who was later found to be dead from suspicious causes and was cremated by the police without permission of his family.

Prior to this, the death of Nido Tania, a young man from Arunachal Pradesh, had captured headlines for the brutal manner of his death and for the racially-tinged aspect of the violence against him. The Bezbaruah Committee was then constituted, to address the matter of racial violence and hatred towards north-eastern persons in metros. The Committee submitted its report to the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2014, and made several recommendations. These included the inclusion of a specific provision within the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for hate crimes, and the appointment of a Special Prosecutor and creation of Fast-Track Courts and Special Police Squads to deal with such offences. The Committee further recommended that campaigns are undertaken in schools and on social media to raise awareness about racial violence and to dispel negative stereotypes about north-eastern people.

In Karma Dorjee v. Union of India [Civil Writ Petition 103 of 2014], the Supreme Court had issued a slew of orders, which included the setting up of a three-person panel to address the growing issue of racial violence and hate crimes against north-eastern people in the capital. It also accepted most recommendations by the Bezbaruah Committee, although it did not comment on the inclusion of a specific hate-crime provision in the IPC. The Court also relied on the obligations of the Indian State according to the Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in observing that there was a duty to ensure that the rights guaranteed to all citizens under Part III of the Constitution, were freely available to members of oppressed communities, including persons from the north-east.

In light of the issues above, it is essential that you ensure that a proper field investigation is conducted, and that Bitoo’s whereabouts are traced at the earliest. Ensure that the police regularly update both the relevant authorities and Bitoo’s family members as to the progress of the investigation. The recommendation s of the Bezbaruah Committee and the Supreme Court’s directions in Karma Dorjee must be immediately and efficiently implemented. On a broader note, security measures should be taken to especially ensure the safety of north-eastern persons in the NCT region, due to the recent spate of disappearances and deaths reported.

Yours sincerely,

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Justice H.L. Dattu, Chairperson
National Human Rights Commission
Manav Adhikar Bhawan,
Block-C, GPO Complex, INA,
New Delhi –110 023.
E-mail: cr.nhrc@nic.in

2. Arvind Kejriwal
Chief Minister of New Delhi
3rd level, Delhi Secretariat,
I.P. Estate, New Delhi –110002.
Telephone: +9111 3392020/30
E-mail: cmdelhi@nic.in

3. B.S. Bassi,
Commissioner of Police, Delhi,
Police Headquarters,
I.P. Estate, ITO,
New Delhi-110002
Telephone:+9111 23490201
E-mail: bk.gupta@nic.in

4. Shri. Thawar Chand Gehlot
Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment
201, C-Wing
Shastri Bhawan,
Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road,
New Delhi - 110001 (India)
Telephone : 011-23381001
Fax: 011-23012175
Email: officesjem@gmail.com

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme

Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia


* This Press Release was sent to e-pao.net by Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) who can be contacted at ua(AT)ahrc(DOT)asia
This Press Release was posted on October 07 2017

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