The Delhi Police, established in 1948 after separating from the Punjab Police, is one of the most efficient and effective police forces in the country, with the sole objective of ensuring Shanti, Seva, Nyaya, based on the policy of “Zero Tolerance”, in maintaining the smooth law and order, peace, safety and security of the citizens and effective crime control in the national capital territory of Delhi. Special care is taken for ensuring safety and security of the people of the North-East, in particular, and also other people coming from different parts of the country, in general. The Special Police Unit for North East Region (SPUNER) is the appropriate authority under the Delhi Police to take care of these affairs. I got the opportunity to interview Hibu Tamang, IPS, Additional Commissioner of Police (SPUNER), Delhi Police – who is taking lots of pain in working for the welfare of the North-East people in Delhi under the active supervision of David Lalrinsanga, IPS, Joint Commissioner of Police (SPUNER)-cum-nodal officer. Any Northeasterner in distress can avail the services of these dedicated officers through the helpline No. 1093 and the NE Cell landline No. 011-26569656 of SPUNER, Delhi Police. 

Excerpts from the interview: 

When was this special cell, solely catering to the interests of the Northeasterners in Delhi, founded? 
The Delhi Police Special Police Unit for North East Region (SPUNER) was set up on February 14, 2014, after the murder of Nido Tania (a college student from Arunachal Pradesh) on January 29, 2014, in a South Delhi market. As a result of the death of Nido Tania, a committee was constituted by the Government of India, headed by M.P. Bezbaruah, a retired IAS officer, and on the recommendation of the said committee, the Special Police Unit for North East Region was set up by the Delhi Police, based on the policy of “Zero Tolerance” and for ensuring the safety and security of the Northeasterners in Delhi. 

Prior to that, no such special unit existed and the problems of the North-East people were generally handled by the district police in their respective jurisdictions only. 

According to a report published by The Times of India on March 21, 2017, as many as 704 cases of crimes against the Northeasterners in Delhi were registered in the last three years before 2017. After the creation of this branch, so many cases are still coming into light. 
How do you plan to prevent such types of incidents? 

The number of cases mentioned in the report published by The Times of India do not match the records they have in the office of SPUNER. The numbers vary and the reports are also obtained from the district police. Since the SPUNER unit of Delhi Police was not notified by the police station, the unit cannot register cases and investigate. However, the unit has been monitoring the cases registered and investigated by the district police. 

Moreover, whenever a complaint is received at the SPUNER unit, the same is immediately forwarded to the concerned police station for registration of the case and further investigation. The SPUNER unit also holds coordination meetings with the district DCPs and obtains progress reports of the cases for onward submission to the police headquarters as well as the Delhi Government/Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. The SPUNER unit also organises meetings with various stakeholders for ensuring the safety and security of the North-East people in Delhi. 

What types of cases come to your office’s (PSAP) notice and how are they tackled ? 

Apart from various crime cases, including discrimination, the unit receives cases of non-payment of salaries to the people from the North-East, mostly by the employers of unorganised sectors. The SPUNER unit intervenes through various ways and means for the payment of salary. Every citizen of India, including the people of the North-East, is equal in the eyes of law. The Constitution of India provides Fundamental Rights to all its citizens. In case of any injustice or discrimination meted out to the North-East people in New Delhi, there are provisions of law, including protection under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. 
Therefore, the SPUNER unit has been monitoring the cases so that fair investigation is carried out as per law.

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