Newspaper article International New York Times

Indians Protest a Death Linked to Discrimination ; They Rally in the Capital after a Man with East Asian Features Is Killed

Newspaper article International New York Times

Indians Protest a Death Linked to Discrimination ; They Rally in the Capital after a Man with East Asian Features Is Killed

Article excerpt

Hundreds from India's far northeast demonstrated outside a New Delhi police station, furious over the death of an 18-year-old and complaining of discrimination because of their East Asian features.

Hundreds of young protesters from India's far northeast demonstrated outside a New Delhi police station during the weekend, furious about the death last week of an 18-year-old man who was injured in a fight with shopkeepers and complaining of widespread discrimination against them because of their East Asian features.

Though the exact cause of the sudden death of the man, Nido Tania, has yet to be determined, he was found dead in his bed less than a day after a violent altercation, and many in his circle say they believe he suffered serious internal injuries.

Two shopkeepers at the Rajasthan Paneer Shop, a dairy store on a residential street, are accused of making fun of his hairstyle, using an ethnic slur and later beating him.

Indians from the northeast who live in other parts of the country often face verbal abuse and harassment because many have distinct facial features and are not native speakers of Hindi or south Indian languages.

"We experience discrimination not just in Delhi, but in all of India outside of our states," said Adam Patak, one of the students who organized the protest on Saturday. "They say we are Chinese or made in China." Demonstrations also took place in Mr. Tania's home state.

Mr. Tania, the son of a legislator from the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, was visiting a friend on Wednesday when he approached the shopkeepers to ask for directions. After one of them made a derisive remark, Mr. Tania broke the glass of a refrigerated display case in the front of the shop, witnesses said.

The police were called and managed to broker a compromise at the police station. Mr. Tania agreed to compensate the store owners for the damage.

Mr. Tania's father, Nido Pavitra, said his son had told him that the police returned him to the same spot and that the two shopkeepers and at least one other man then beat him severely. …

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