An FIR was lodged against Hemanth Kumar, a lawyer based in Bengaluru, on Monday for allegedly assaulting a tenant in his apartment in the city.
Higio Guntey, a student of Christ College in Bengaluru from Arunachal Pradesh, was severely beaten by Kumar, who was reportedly in a state of intoxication. After hitting him for almost an hour, Kumar forced Guntey to lick his shoe, then threw the young man's belongings from the third floor to the street. Guntey has been staying with friends since then.
"After beating me black and blue, he still was not satisfied. He beat me again and forced me to put on his shoes and made me lick and kiss them. I had to oblige because I was bruised and was not in a position to take any more beatings. As if this was not enough, he kicked me out of the house. He even threw my trolley from the third floor. This is very humiliating", Guntey told News X.
The incident blew up after another resident of the apartment complained to Kumar against Guntey, alleging excessive use of water by the latter and his flatmates. In a fury, Kumar called up the young man, then stormed into his flat and started thrashing him.
While these events took place on 6 March, Guntey has filed a police complaint against Kumar today. As of now, there are no specific provisions in the Indian Penal Code to prosecute offenders for racially-motivated attacks. Cases may be booked under Sections 295(A) and 153(A) for promoting enmity among communities and insulting religious feelings, but the need for particular laws to prevent racial crime still remains unaddressed.
Two sections, 153C and 509A, have been proposed to the Centre following a shocking attack on Nido Tania, another student from Arunachal Pradesh, in Delhi in 2014. But these provisions are yet to be executed, in spite of Nido Tania's tragic death in the incident.
In Guntey's case, Kumar has already managed to secure anticipatory bail in spite of the charges levelled against him.
"Why can't the domestic violence act be implemented upon him for using such derogative words on me and my parents?" Guntey told ANI on Monday. "We three boys who were staying together were tortured on March 6 and I'm going to file a second FIR copy against the landlord today."
His father, who News X identified as the Executive Assistant Commissioner of Arunachal Pradesh, is hoping that justice will be done to his son.
"What happened to him was inhuman, I have trust in the police and I hope the culprit won't be spared. He is a very soft spoken person and complaints about him are so not obvious. The landlord also abused us badly and we are going to take legal action on him. I have sent my son to study here, not to get beaten by people," he said.
Bengaluru has a chequered history with communities from the Northeast coming to the city to work or study. In January this year, a horrific video emerged of two men in the city slapping and beating a young man from Mizoram with an iron rod.
In 2012, rumours of a mass attack on Northeasterners spread on text messages and social media, leading to a panic-stricken exodus, with hundreds of people boarding trains bound to Guwahati from Bengaluru.
(With inputs from ANI.)
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