Centre accepts Bezbaruah committee report

Derogatory remarks against NE people will  invite  jail term for five years, announces Rajnath

New Delhi: Calling anyone ‘Chinki’, ‘Chinese’ or making any other derogatory remark relating to race, culture or physical appearance will land you in jail for up to five years, according to a proposal which the Home Ministry is considering.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said his ministry is considering the proposal made by a high-level committee that looked into the attacks on people from North East in Delhi and some other parts of the country.

A Bill may be brought for amending the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2014 for safety and security of the people of the Northeast in Delhi and others parts of the country, he said.

“We are examining the proposal and may add two provisions in the Indian Penal Code by amending the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2014,” he said at a press conference here.

“The government (has) accepted the recommendations of the MP Bezbaruah Committee with regard to immediate measures,” Singh said.

The Bezbaruah committee, in its report, has noted that there was the “most common demand” from people from North Eastern region was to make words like ‘Momos’, ‘Chinkis’, Chinese’, ‘Chichi Chu Chu’ or any other derogatory remarks relating to race, culture, identity or physical appearances to be made punisable.”

It has recommended a provision in Section 153 of IPC to provide for imprisonment up to five years with a fine to “whoever, by words either spoken or written or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise attempts or promote to attempt on the ground of race or place of origin or such other grounds relating to racial features or to racial behaviour and culture or to racial customs or participates in such activity intending to use criminal force or violence…”

The provision for imprisonment will be there even if any person is “likely to cause fear or alarm or a feeling of insecurity amongst the members of that racial groups”.

The Committee was set up in the wake of killing of Nido Tania, a youth from Arunachal Pradesh, in January last year.

In the other suggestion, it suggested insertion of a clause in Section 509 of IPC to provide for imprisonment upto three years with a fine if there is “a word, gesture or act intended to insult a member of a particular racial group or of any race or whoever intending to insult any member of a particular or any race for whatever reason or for reason of their place of origin, racial features, behavioural pattern, customs, practices or dresses…”

It will also apply if anyone “utters any word, makes any sound or gesture or exhibits any object intending to insult or intrudes privacy shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years with fine.”

The Home Minister said, “Amendment of IPC is under consideration for insertion of new Section 153C and 509A as recommended by the committee.” A Home Ministry official said that the Law Ministry has given its consent for insertion of the two clauses in the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2014. Singh said government is committed for safety and security of people of North East living in Delhi and other metropolitan cities.

He said all short-term measures, as recommended by the Bezbaruah committee, have been implemented within the stipulated six months time.

Efforts were on to implement all the long term proposals, he said. A special legal service authority has been constituted to help the people from the region facing problems in Delhi, he said.

He said 20 people will be recruited from each of the eight North Eastern states in the Delhi Police as part of the familiarisation exercise for the capital’s police force.

“Fact track courts will be set up in Delhi for expediting cases related to the people from the region,” he said.

Singh said action has been taken for incorporating history of the North East in the text book of NCERT so that children can be aware of heritage of the region. (PTI)

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