Nido Tania’s father moves HC over dropping of charges

New Delhi: The father of 19-year-old Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Tania, who was beaten up by seven youths last year which ultimately led to his death, Thursday moved the Delhi High Court against the trial court order for dropping charges under the stringent SC/ST Act against the accused.

Justice Manmohan Singh will hear the plea Friday.

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Nido Tania, who had an altercation with a few shopkeepers in Lajpat Nagar Jan 29 last year, was found dead inside his house the next day. His death had evoked angry reactions from people of the northeast living in the national capital who alleged police had failed to protect him.

The trial court Sep 25, 2014 had dropped charges under the SC/ST Act against the accused, saying the prosecution failed to establish that it was a case of “racial slur”.

“There is no evidence to show the victim was a member of scheduled caste or scheduled tribe,” the court had said.

Nido Tania’s father Nido Pavitra, a Congress legislator from Arunachal Pradesh, moved the high court challenging the trial court order.

He said that having perceived Nido Tania to belong to a scheduled tribe, the accused relentlessly mocked him for no reason while he was making an entirely normal and ordinary enquiry to find his way.

“A perusal of the FIR and the statement of the eyewitness to the assault – Lokam Lulu – brings out that the solitary reason why the deceased (Nido Tania) was singled out and assaulted by the accused people was because from his facial feature, which marked him as someone from the northeast of the country, the accused people perceived the deceased to be ‘chinki’ (in their words) and therefore belonging to a Scheduled Tribe.

“This was the root cause of the violent and vicious animosity of the accused people against the deceased,” said the plea.

Seeking setting aside of the trial court order, the father said even the subsequent assaults and the words used by the accused during the assaults bear out the fact that the main reason that Nido Tania became the subject of the accused people’s hatred and ire was because he belonged to a Scheduled Tribe.

“The SC/ST Act was promulgated precisely to prevent and punish such caste motivated atrocities which have no place in contemporary society.

“The entire purpose of the legislation would stand defeated if the hyper technical view adopted by the trial court is sustained,” the plea added.

Delhi Police, which was earlier probing the case, had slapped murder charges on the four adults accused in the case after Nido Tania’s post-mortem report revealed he died of head and facial injuries caused by a blunt object. It had also invoked charges under the SC/ST Act. The case was transferred to the CBI.

During filing of the chargesheet, the CBI had dropped the murder charges against the accused, saying the killing was not premeditated but a result of an altercation over the breaking of a glass counter at a shop in the market.

Three minors, who had also allegedly assaulted Nido Tania, are facing an inquiry before the Juvenile Justice Board.