After Nido, north easterner Monika Khangembam faces racial taunt

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Monika Khangembam

Alleging racism, a north-eastern woman in New Delhi had alleged about the boorish behaviour of an immigration official at IGI Airport who insulted her by asking about her nationality in a Facebook post.

Noting Monika Khangembam’s post, Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had tweeted “Monika Khangembam – I am sorry to know this. Immigration is not with me. I will speak to my senior colleague Shri @rajnathsingh ji to sensitise Immigration officials at the airport.”

“The officer looked at my passport and said you don’t look like an Indian,” wrote Monika on Facebook. He also asked her several inappropriate questions, she added.

According to an estimate, more than 11 lakh north-east people live in Delhi either for work or studies. As part of a programme, 36 Delhi hospitals agreed to provide a subsidised treatment to them. To take care of complaints of racism and attacks, the Delhi Police has a special cell and a helpline number.

Meanwhile, Monika is planning to file a complaint once she returns from Seoul after 15 days.
An inquiry will be set up if the passenger lodges a formal complaint, said a senior Bureau of Immigration officer.

In another post, Monika wrote she and many north easterners have faced racist jibes in the form of a sarcastic remark, smile, or attitude. Replying to her post, Nanda Kirati Dewan wrote, “I have faced it several times due to Mongolian face orientation. Together we should fight against such attempt to question our Indianness.”

Racial discrimination is not uncommon for north-easterners living across the country. In January 2014, shopkeepers in Lajpat Nagar market beat Nido Taniam of Arunachal Pradesh to death over an argument after making fun of the victim’s hairstyle.