More than 200 students from Manipur and other northeastern states, studying in the capital, came together Sunday at India Gate for a silent candlelight vigil to demand a proper investigation of the alleged murder of a Manipuri student in Bangalore. A rally was also held in Bangalore to demand justice for the student
“The college authorities are claiming that Richard Loitam died from injuries suffered in an April 15 bike accident. However, preliminary postmortem report says that he was beaten to death,” said Arzyaman, a Delhi university student and a representative for the protest organisers, Manipuri Students' Association Delhi(MSAD).
“Despite this, police has filed it as a case of death due to unnatural reasons, effectively putting his death to be a suicide,” he added.
The protesters claimed the instance as an example of racial bias by the police, besides calling for conversion of the case into one of homicide, investigation of the incident by Central Bureau of Investigation and strict action against the guilty as well as the hostel authorities.
Loitam, a second semester student of the Acharya School of Architecture in north Bangalore, was found dead his hostel room on April 18.
Before sitting for the candle-light vigil, the protesters had assembled at Jantar Mantar and raised slogans against racial profiling of students from Northeast.
Prominent Manipuri writer and activist, Binalakshmi Nepram was also present at the protest.
A group of students have also launched a campaign on Facebook seeking 'justice' for Loitam and to treat the death as murder.