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22-Year-Old Arunachal Youth Severely Injured In Bengaluru In A Suspected Racist Attack

Not again, Bengaluru.

11/01/2017 4:15 PM IST | Updated 11/01/2017 4:43 PM IST
Anupam Nath/AP
Members of North East Students Organization (NESO) hold placards as they participate in a protest in Gauhati.

In a suspected racist attack, a 22-year-old from Arunachal Pradesh who worked in a Bengaluru pub was found injured and in a semi-conscious state minutes after he left his workplace on Saturday.

Khuadun Khangham had moved to Bengaluru some months ago and was working as a waiter in a pub in the Koramangala locality.

The victim reportedly suffered a serious head injury and has been completely paralysed.

While there is no conclusive proof yet that Khangham had faced a racist attack, many suspect that to be have been the case.

"There have been numerous incidents of people from our region being targeted in the city. We are planning to get in touch with the home minister of the north eastern state, seeking steps to ensure their safety here," Toko John, president, All Arunachal Students Association of Karnataka told the Bangalore Mirror.

On Saturday evening, 10 minutes after he left his workplace for his home in Vivek Nagar, Khangham was found lying semi-conscious with bruises all over by a patrolling van.

Bengaluru City Police has ruled out robbery as a motive as Khangham's mobile phone and wallet were still on him when he was found. There were no eyewitnesses, and there is no conclusive CCTV footage to back their initial suspicions of a hit-and-run either.

"We are yet to find any evidence to say anything. But we immediately filed an FIR on a complaint filed by (the city's Northeast) community members who suspected it could be a racially motivated incident," Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-east) M.B. Boralingaiah said.

Over the years, Bengaluru -- a city that prides itself as 'India's Silicon Valley' -- has witnessed several racist attacks.

Last year, a mob had beaten and stripped a Tanzanian woman, and paraded her naked. They had also beaten up her African male companion and torched the car in which the pair had been travelling.

READ: Manipur Students Allegedly Denied Entry Into Taj Mahal Because They 'Looked Like Foreigners'

This was in retaliation for an entirely unrelated hit-and-run incident that had occurred just then, in which a person from Africa had killed a local resident.

In October 2014, an engineering student from Manipur was attacked by goons who had allegedly demanded that he "speak in the Kannada language or get out".

In November 2015, a Manipuri student, Samuel Haokip, was beaten up in Bengaluru. Three local men were later arrested. Earlier that year, in March, some African students had been roughed up by a mob.

In August 2012, special trains had to be deployed to take home thousands of people from the Northeast who fled Bengaluru following a series of threatening text messages that began doing the rounds. Many local Bengaluru residents were later arrested for spreading panic.

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