B'lore: When language matters more than humanity; Manipuri student beaten for not knowing Kannada

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Student beaten for being Manipuri?
Bangalore, Oct 15: In a shocking incident in the Kothanur area of Bangalore, a Manipuri student leader was beaten mercilessly by a gang of men who demanded he spoke in Kannada.

The attack took place past midnight when T Michael Lamjathang Haokip, president of the Thadou (Manipuri tribe) Students' Association sustained injuries on his head when he was pelted with stones. Two other members Ngamkholen Haokip, 28, and Rocky Kipgen, 25 were also attacked but escaped with minor injuries.

While this is a common thing in this part of the city, which is dominated by students from the North East and Africa.

"They kept asking me to speak in Kannada. If you outsiders know how to eat food that is produced in Karnataka, you must also know to speak Kannada. This is India not China," said the victim.

He further added," I tried to reason with them but they were hysterical."

When Michael was being attacked, his friend Letmang was passing by in his motorbike. The latter said,"I was surrounded by the gang when Michael ran away. They snatched my valuables and my bike's documents. They would have probably killed me but Michael returned with the police."

Obed Haokip, 46, said that when he arrived with the police patrol, he saw a few people close to the local MLA helping a few of the attackers escape.

Additional commissioner of police Alok Kumar said, "Three persons have been arrested and investigations are on to ascertain if this was a hate crime."

Michael regretted that there was no one to help me. Instead, whoever came to enquire what was wrong also started beating me up.

The trouble started in a roadside eatery. Michael said "Suddenly, three men came and started giving us orders in Kannada. All we could understand (through their gestures) is that they wanted us to move. But they started asking us all sorts of things and when we could not answer, they started raising the Kannada issue."

He is out of danger now, but the incident throws a very poor light on the safety and security of outsiders in the city who are subject to such hate crimes every now and then.

OneIndia News

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