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Bezbaruah Committee Report
Jul 14, 2014

The Committee under the Chairmanship of M.P. Bezbaruah, Member, North Eastern Council and other members submitted its report to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Committee was constituted in February, 2014 to look into the various concerns of persons hailing from the North Eastern States who are living in different parts of the country, especially the Metropolitan areas, and to suggest suitable remedial measures which could be taken by the Government. 

The terms of Reference of the Committee were as follows: 

  • To examine the various kinds of concerns, including the concerns regarding security, of the persons hailing from the North Eastern States. 

  • To examine the causes behind the attacks/violence and discrimination against the people from the North-Eastern States. 

  • To suggest measures to be taken by the Government to address these concerns. 

  • To suggest legal remedies to address these concerns. 

Bringing an amendment into the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and introducing an anti-racial law are some of the recommendations in the 80-page report submitted by the Bezbaruah Committee.

The committee suggested that section 153 A of the IPC, which deals with punishment for promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of place of birth, residence and language, be made more stringent. Under existing laws, there is a maximum punishment of three years with a fine. The committee wants the numbers of years to be increased and the offence to be made non-bailable under specific conditions.

The committee recommended that the attitude of police at the local level needs to change. It also sought an increased representation of the North-east community in the police force. It was also opined that the state police should train personnel to better deal with people from the North-east. The Centre may also bring a change in the training curriculum to educate police officials so they can handle such situations more effectively.

The committee also recorded the views of three vice-chancellors of universities, including Delhi University, where the problem is rampant. The panel had 10 members and took 2 months to complete the report, in which views of nearly 800 people have been recorded, officials said. It also made recommendations for various central ministries, including National Commission for SC/ST, HRD, Culture and Sports, asking each of them to play a proactive role to address the problem.

The committee also asked the Home Ministry to bring all existing laws to deal with problems of people from the North-east under one roof. These laws are presently housed under various departments and remain ineffective.

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