Racial slurs on North-East people may invite jail term : The Tribune India

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Racial slurs on North-East people may invite jail term

NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said recommendations made by the MP Bezbaruah Committee have been accepted and two new sections will be added to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to ensure people targeting those from the North-East over their facial features or the race will face punishment.

Racial slurs on North-East people may invite jail term

Home Minister Rajnath Singh addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Friday. PTI 



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 2

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said recommendations made by the MP Bezbaruah Committee have been accepted and two new sections will be added to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to ensure people targeting those from the North-East over their facial features or the race will face punishment.

The Ministry of Home Affairs had constituted the committee in February 2014 to look into the concerns of the citizens hailing from the North Eastern States living in different parts of the country.

Rajnath said the IPC will be amended for insertion of new Sections — 153C and 509A — as recommended by the committee. The Ministry of Law and Justice has agreed to the amendment.

Section 153-C provides punishment to those using words or signals for racial features or racial behaviour, culture, customs, way of living or any other practices. It also says anybody who participates in activity intending to use criminal force against a particular race or causes fear or alarm or a feeling of insecurity amongst racial groups will be punished with imprisonment which may extend to five years with fine.

Section 509-A of the IPC provides for imprisonment for those disrespecting by way of words or intruding into privacy and making gestures to deride racial features with term extending to three years with fine.

Rajnath said a panel of seven lawyers, including five women lawyers, had been constituted by the Delhi State Legal Service Authority (DSLSA) for providing legal assistance to the needy people from the North-East.

Further, cases involving N-E people will be referred to the existing fast-track courts for early decision. Various metropolitan police, including Delhi Police, are being advised to post N-E personnel in their force in the visible positions in vulnerable areas

In order to educate people about the North-East, universities have been advised that history of North-East and participation in the freedom movement of the country be taught at the graduation and post-graduation levels, and for this purpose, curriculum be changed.

A special scholarship scheme for students of North-East, ‘Ishan Uday’, has been launched from 2014-15 session providing 10,000 scholarships ranging from Rs 3,500 to Rs 5,000 per month for under-graduate level in colleges and universities.

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