In two separate incidents, two students hailing from the Northeast were assaulted with iron rods and sticks on Saturday night in Hadapsar and Kondhwa. In the Hadapsar incident, Premanand Khondram (18), a class XII student of Poona College, who was earlier targeted by some youths near the college on Thursday, was yet again assaulted by five to six unidentified youths. Khondram sustained minor injuries in the attack.
“I was on my way home. At 10.30 pm, when I reached Vaiduwadi, some six to seven youths, armed with sticks accosted me and started thrashing me. When I tried to resist their attack, they started abusing me and mistook me for an as Assamese. I showed them my identity card and driving licence, and told them that I am from Manipur,” said Khondram. “The moment I told them I am from Manipur, they released me and fled the spot. I then called my local acquaintance, D R Ramanand, who is a professor in a city college and narrated him the incident.”
Ramanand said, the moment he was informed about the attack, he reached the spot and rushed Khondram to Sasssoon Hospital. “After receiving medical treatment I took him to my residence in Katraj.” Premanand then approached the Hadapsar police station officials and lodged a complaint against the unidentified assailants. He said that Saturday’s attackers were different from those who had assaulted him on Thursday.
In the second incident, which occurred in Kondhwa, five to six people assaulted 25-year-old Roko Jetiv Ltu, a resident of Whistle Cascade, who hails from Kohima in Nagaland. Ltu’s assailants, who were armed with iron rods and sticks, attacked him at his residence around 8 pm.
The Kondhwa police officials arrested and booked Nadim Ansari (18), Imamuddin Kanwade (20), Wasim Shaikh (22), Muzaffar Jamadar (19), Sarvar Gulam Rasul Shaikh (33), Ejaj Shaikh (23), Rafiq Shaikh (21), Martin Pathan (19) and Adnan Chaudhary (19) under relevant sections of the IPC yesterday.
“Ltu, who is pursuing his MCS programme from a city college, resides at Whistle Cascade in Kondhwa. On Saturday night at 8, around five to six youths arrived at his apartment and knocked the door. As soon as Ltu opened the door, they assaulted him with sticks,” Assistant Police Inspector S G Thopte of Kondhwa police station said.
He said the assailants then took him to the parking lot and continued their assault. “However, when the other residents of the society started coming in, the assailants fled the spot,” Thopte said. “Ltu, who sustained minor injuries, approached the police station and lodged a complaint against the youths. In the wee hours of Sunday, all the nine youths were nabbed. We produced them in the court and they have been remanded in police custody till August 18.”
Stay together: Cops
Former president of Naga Students Union Dihem Panmei said after these attacks, they had the police and demanded protection.
“We had a meeting in the Kondhwa police station and was attended by some organisations. They too have assured full cooperation and protection. Cops have advised people from Seven Sister States to stay in group and not to step out alone in the night,” said Panmei.
Police Inspector Prasad Hasabnis of Kondhwa police station said that soon after the attack on Ltu, the police officials immediately held a meeting between people different communities and appealed them to maintain harmony and peace.
“We have also advised them to appeal the youths not to succumb to violence, and maintain law and order,” Hasabnis said. Former president of Manipur Students Union Mohamad Raees Ahmad said students from Northeast in Kondhwa and Camp area were living in fear.
“Fortunately, I didn’t hear about any attack today. The police and local leaders are helping us. Police have increased the security,” Ahmad said yesterday.
Thopte said that the attacks on Northeast Indians in the city were result of violence in Assam. He said that attacks on students and professional from Nagaland and Manipur were the outcome of mistaken identity as their assailants presumed they were Assamese.
“We have intensified patrolling in Kondhwa and Hadapsar area. We appeal to the people not to resort to violence and maintain harmony and peace,” DCP (Zone IV) Sanjay Jadhav said.
President of Indian Muslim Front Munnawar Kureishi said attacks on Northeast Indians was handiwork of some anti-social elements who were instigating young adults by circulating provocative MMS clip of clashes between Bodo and Muslim communities in Assam.
“We have conducted meetings with the police and the members from our community, and appealed them to maintain law and order and not to believe in rumours.”
My Home India, an NGO, has started a helpline for students hailing from Northeast. Mayur Karjatkar, a volunteer from the organisation, said that students seeking help should contact the NGO on 9011017918.