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In Big Embarrassment For India, African Envoys Slam Racist Attacks


Source: | Tuesday, April 4, 2017

New Delhi: India has failed to take "sufficient and visible deterring measures" to protect Africans from attacks, a group of ambassadors from 44 African countries said today, asking for an international inquiry. In a major diplomatic embarrassment for Delhi, they said the attacks are "xenophobic and racial" and last week's cases were "not sufficiently condemned" by Indian officials.

WATCH VIDEO >>
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Highlights

  1. Videos showed Nigerians being thrashed in Greater Noida near Delhi
  2. 6 arrested for attacking Nigerians in car and at mall
  3. No visible or sufficient measures by India, say African envoys
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Later in the evening, India said it was "unfortunate" that the attacks were called racial by the African envoys.

"It is unfortunate that a criminal act triggered following the untimely death of a young Indian student under suspicious circumstances has been termed as xenophobic and racial," the foreign ministry said in a statement. The government, the statement read, is committed to ensuring safety and security of all foreign nationals in India, including African nationals, "who remain our valued partners".

"Strong Indian institutions are adequate to deal with aberrations that represent act of a few criminals," the ministry added.

Last week, Nigerians were thrashed in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh, just across the border from Delhi, after a schoolboy's death was linked to drugs; residents of the sprawling suburb alleged that Africans living there had sold him the drugs.  Five Nigerian students who were arrested in connection with the case were released after the police found no evidence to link them to the crime. But a crowd that had assembled for a candlelit vigil to demand justice for the teenager turned violent after spotting a group of Nigerians in a car and hit it with sticks.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that she had spoken to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and sought a report on the horrific assault, part of which was filmed and circulated on social media. Last week, the Foreign Ministry said it would not call the attacks racial till the investigation progressed and offered more information.

Video footage showed a mob attacking a car, while in another clip dozens of men assaulted Nigerian shoppers in a mall.

The incident made headlines in Nigeria, with India's ambassador summoned for questioning in Abuja as Delhi labelled the incident "deplorable".

Hundreds of African students live in Greater Noida, where there are several popular universities, engineering colleges and other educational institutions. Security has been increased, with police assisting African students with their shopping runs and escorting them to class.

Police have identified roughly 60 people from footage of the attack who they plan to charge with rioting and unlawful assembly. Six people have been arrested so far.

A Kenyan woman that reported a separate assault later retracted her story after it was proven false.

Last year, a Congolese teacher was bludgeoned to death men after an argument over hiring an auto-rickshaw in Delhi.

In 2013, a Nigerian national was killed by a mob in Goa, with a minister later calling Nigerians a "cancer".

Delhi's former Law Minister Somnath Bharti was also accused in 2014 of harassing African women after he led a vigilante mob through an area of the capital, claiming they were prostitutes.

Source: http://www.ndtv.com


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