Victim recounts Pune assault incident

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IMPHAL, August 14: The Joint Students’ Coordination Committee today lamented that the Union Home Minister’s assurance of safety for the North East students in other states of the country has failed with the recent spark of violent mob attacks on several students from the region at Pune.

The students’ body today convened a press conference where a student who identified himself as a victim of such violent mob action in Pune recounted his experience on two such occasions on August 8 and on August 11.

The victim who identified himself as Premananda Khomdram, 18 son of K Dwijamani Singh of Khumbong bazar said fearing for his life he had flown back home today.

He is a student of Anjuman Khairul Islam Poona college of Arts, Science and Commerce, which is located inside the Poona College campus.

He said after the two violent incidents he had to undergo some seven stitches on his head and received several bruises on his body.

He continued that even though his school administration had assured him of his safety and asked him to stay back, his school has been closed for a month due to the recent spate of violence and as he was not confident about his safety and returned home at the earliest.

Recounting his first experience, he said on August 8 around 1pm while he was at the school basketball ground, some students of the school came up to him and asked to which state he belongs to.

However even before he could reply, he was assaulted by the other students.

In between the assault, he also heard someone yelling at him whether he was from Assam, after which the others started beating him with sticks inside the school campus itself.

He further added that he was taken to the school parking where he was again beaten and left.

After that again on August 11, as he was returning from the place of his part time job, he was again assaulted by a violent mob using sticks.

He was the assailants also asked if he was from Assam or Burma?

He said the second attack amounts to life attempt as he was hit repeatedly on the head with a stick.

The beating stopped only after he showed his driving licence, he said.

Meanwhile, the student also recounted that after the beating stopped he tried to get up and hid himself by the road-side, however he fell down after just a few steps.

Soon after two youths on a motorcycle came and said to him that they will take him to his place on their bike, however they took them to a deserted railway track.

Soon after some locals arrived in an auto and started assaulting him.

He was saved by a man who came along and took him to his home.

He said, he called the police emergency number and complained about the assault from the man’s residence.

Meanwhile, the student bodies’ Coordination Committee, member Th Suresh said the student body laments the inability of the Union Home Minister to provide security to the students and others from the North East in other parts of the country even after the Ministry had already assured to do so.

He continued that discrimination of people from the NE has continued unabated in the Indian cities.

The student bodies also strongly condemned the life attempt on a student without any reason.

He further questioned the Union Ministry on how the students from the area are supposed to feel secure in such a situation.

He further appealed to the government to safeguard its own citizens and continued that discrimination of people from the region has gone beyond the tolerance level.

The central government should understand the plights of the NE students.

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