The Telegraph. By Sumir Karmakar. 31.05.18.

Guwahati: Rajya Sabha MP from Assam and PCC president Ripun Bora assured a group of NGOs in New Delhi on Wednesday that he would garner support of more MPs to push for an anti-racism law in the country.

Inaugurating a consultation with MPs on having a law to check racial attacks, particularly against people from the Northeast, Bora said though the Constitution talks about equality of all citizens, the country needs stricter provisions to prevent such attacks.

The consultation was held at the Constitution Club by the Control Arms Foundation of India (CAFI), Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network (MWGSN), Northeast India Women Initiative for Peace and the Multiple Action Research Group (MARG) for evolving an anti-racism law and to table a bill in Parliament on women, peace and security.

“Violence and hate crimes against people from the Northeast in the metros have raised much concern about safety. In such a situation, women are doubly at risk as they are targeted more so solely because of their gender,” Binalakshmi Nepram, who leads CAFI and MWGSN, said in a statement.

Expressing concern over racial attacks, Bora called for implementation of the M.P. Bezbaruah Committee recommendations.

The committee was set up after the lynching of Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Tania in Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar in January 2014. It recommended a debate on the need to draft an anti-racism law.

It said steps should be taken to frame “a specific law” or make “specific amendment to the IPC” to tackle hate crimes.

Gaurav Gogoi, Congress MP from Kaliabor in Assam, stated that despite several cases of discrimination, especially racism, there was no specific law dealing with the issue.

“If the situation continues, many others will become victims,” he added.

Anju Talukdar, director of MARG, said racial discrimination should be a part of public discourse so that it could lead to the passing of an anti-racism law in the country.

Alakananda Das, adviser to the Char and Rural Development Society, an NGO and Northeast chairperson of Women Economic Forum, Mira Borthakur, general secretary, Northeast Women’s Front and BJP member Shaheen Hussain Nongbri, president of CARDS and vice-president of AIUDF Jimsi Tassar, lawyer from Arunachal Pradesh Tinat Atifa Masood, vice-chairperson of minority department, Assam PCC, Govind Singh, director, Delhi Greens, New Delhi, among others attended the event, said the statement.

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