The Manipur Students’ Association Delhi (MSAD) had organised a demonstration and a candle light vigil on 29 April 2012 to condole the untimely lost of Richard Loitam and to protest his murder on 17th April by his hostel mates and the denial of justice. MSAD had held institutionalised racism by established institutions including the law enforcing agents as the gravest threat to the security of racial minorities and a big challenge to humanity and justice in India.
The demonstration at Jantar Mantar from 2.00 to 5.30 pm., that began with two minutes silent condolence was attended by above 300 persons including the representatives of Arunachal Students’ Union Delhi, BJP (Northeast Cell), Aavam (Delhi), Campaign for Peace & Democracy (Manipur), Delhi A’chik Youth Association (Meghalaya), Delhi Association for Manipuri Muslim Students, MSAD, Manipur Women Gun Survivor Network, Naga Students’ Union Delhi, Northeast Helpline Centre, Zakir Hussain College Students’ Union, Zillai (Mizo), and others. The candle light vigil at India Gate, 6 to 8 pm was attended by more than 700 persons.
All those who had attended the programmes had condemned the crime and expressed their concern for the aggrieved family of Richard. A memorandum endorsed by all and addressed to the Prime Minister of India (copied to Union Home Minister, Chief Ministers of Karnataka and Manipur) had raised the following demands:
- To set up a special investigation team to transparently investigate into the case and those held guilty be booked immediately.
- The Acharya NAV School of Architecture and the officials be booked and punished according to the law for the negligence towards Richard, tampering of evidences, hindering and for impending the case.
- To take up immediate and adequate initiatives to ensure security of the emigrant workers (employees), job seekers and students from the Northeast who are vulnerable and exposed to all forms of racial discrimination and attack in the mainland metropolitan cities and institutional establishments.
- The case should be converted to a homicidal case as the preliminary post mortem report shows proofs of severe physical assault and internal injury which is the cause of death.
- Investigations should be swift and thorough.
MSAD had called upon the people cutting across community, territorial, and political boundaries to collectively fight for justice and against institutionalised racism in India.
Md. Shafikul Haque