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Political pressure mounting in India over alleged racist attack

Political pressure is mounting in India following the death of Nido Taniam - a student from the country's northeast Arunachal Pradesh. Taniam was allegedly beaten up by a group of men last week in a busy south Delhi market. 

NEW DELHI: Political pressure is mounting in India following the death of Nido Taniam - a student from the country's northeast Arunachal Pradesh.

Taniam was allegedly beaten up by a group of men last week in a busy south Delhi market. Local media reports said Taniam was assaulted when he objected to remarks ridiculing his hair, which he had coloured blonde.

Taniam’s death has led to a furore among northeast migrants living in big cities across India, especially among the young students who have always joined voices opposing discrimination. 

Student protesters in New Delhi demanding speedy justice for Taniam met Congress Party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who committed his full support for their cause.

Representatives of several northeastern students' unions are on an indefinite protest over the incident. They are demanding a fast-track investigation into the incident.

Joining the protesters on Monday, vice president of India's ruling Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, expressed his solidarity with the students and assured them that justice will be delivered for Taniam.

He said: "Like all of you, he represents this country. To me it doesn't matter where he comes from, who he is, what he looks like. These things don't matter to me. Only one thing matters - he is an Indian. Because he is an Indian, he deserves respect, he deserves justice and he is going to get it."

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also promised to join the protesters.

The students' delegation, accompanied by Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Ninong Ering, also met with Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Tuesday.

They want India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to officially investigate the matter.

The delegation is also demanding that an anti-racism law be introduced to protect the interests of all northeast migrants in future.

Ninong Ering said: "We should have (anti-racism) law so that northeastern students feel protected. Strict and stringent measures must be taken against those who treat the people of the northeast as outsiders."

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court sought a status report from the government on the incident. 

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