NEW DELHI: In yet another incident of racist crime against people from the north-east, two youths from Nagaland were allegedly attacked and brutally assaulted with bats and hockey-sticks by a group of around eight men at Sikanderpur village, Gurgaon on Wednesday night.

The attackers, locals from the Sikanderpur area, even shaved off the hair of one of the victims and reportedly told the victims “If you guys from Manipur and Nagaland come and stay here, we will kill you”.

The victims, identified as Awang Newmei (22) from Jaluki village and Aloto Chishi (25) from Shitovi, have been staying in Sikanderpur over the last two years and work at a BPO. Both the victims were taken to a private hospital but were then moved to the Gurgaon Civil Hospital owing to the severity of their wounds. One of them was later shifted to South Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital.

According to the North-East students’ support group, the two men went to a friend’s place around 11.30 pm to get a bottle of liquor, when one of them got a call from one of the attackers asking him to come outside. As soon as they were outside, they were surrounded by the seven attackers, taken to a room at a nearby vegetable market, forced to drink liquor, and then brutally assaulted for hours.

While Aloto was rescued by his sister who came to the spot after hearing of the incident, the assault on Awang continued till 3 am. The attackers then allegedly shaved off his hair and dumped him on the roadside where he lay till some of his acquaintances spotted him in the morning.

However, on the other hand, police has a different version of this case. The police officials are claiming that it was a drunken brawl and not a hate crime while a case was registered at DLF City Phase I police station.

ACP (DLF) Dalbir Singh said, “We have registered the case under Section 307(Attempt to Murder), 323(Assault), 506 (Threatening for life), 148 and 149 under Indian Penal code and SC/ST Act on Thursday afternoon.”

While no arrests have been made so far, the SHO said some of the culprits have been identified, adding "We would soon arrest all of them.”

The incident comes only a day after a similar instance of hate crime was reported in Bangalore.

A 26-year old engineering student hailing from the state of Manipur was also beaten up in Bangalore by a group of men who reportedly abused and then attacked him for not speaking Kannada.

Three men from the north-east had gone to a restaurant in a locality in Bangalore on Tuesday night and were asked to speak in Kannada by a group three local persons and then, attacked Michael, one of the person from the north-east.

“They said you are eating Karnataka food. You are living in Karnataka. You have to speak in Kannada. Why don’t you speak in Kannada. Or else, get lost from this state. They later attacked and I had to defend and thus I received injuries,” Michael said.

All the three culprits have been arrested and a case was filed against them.

Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that strict action would be taken against the culprits in both the incidents and demanded a report from the respective state governments on the same.

The attack has cemented Delhi’s reputation as a deeply intolerant city, with a brutal attack on student Nido Taniam earlier in the year prompting the government to form a committee to assess the concerns of students from the northeast. The committee concluded that Delhi could be termed the country’s most racist city -- with 300 cases of discrimination being recorded by the committee between February and June. Just a few weeks ago, a mob attacked three students from the African countries of Gabon and Burkina Faso at a New Delhi metro station.

In fact, both Bangalore and Gurgaon are cities known for its inter-mix of people from various cultures and background. But incidents like these and many others that have taken place in the recent past, particularly against the people from the north-east region are vile and unpalatable blots on the so-called modern cities incorporating all.