NEW DELHI: The Association of African Students (AAS) in India cancelled their protest march scheduled for Tuesday, which was planned to highlight issues of racism and safety of African nationals in the city.
African leaders said they had held a meeting with External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Delhi Police and were guaranteed better policing.
Many students, however, seemed less convinced.
On May 26, at least six people from Africa were attacked by local sat a village in Chhattarpur, south Delhi.
Most students HT spoke to said they were upset with the cancellation of the march. Jason, a Nigerian who has been helping the victims of Thursday’s attack said: “The protest would have helped us voice our grievances. It was a platform for all students to come together and share problems. It would have helped sensitise locals about us.”
Jason, who runs a salon for Africans in Rajpur Khurd village said, “We do not know the political and the diplomatic reasons behind the cancellation. We have missed a great opportunity to highlight our issues and sensitise people.”
Other students said they are worried about the response from the locals in their area. Jason said he had been approached by many Africans who said they were worried about being evicted by their landlords. To ensure there is no breakdown in communication, police have held meetings with the village residents and the Africans.
One of the victims who refused to be named said, “Because of the whole incident, we fear about our relationship with the locals. I do not want to get into the politics of the protest march but want safety for me and my friends.”
The ASA in its statement said the parents of Conglo resident Masonda Ketada Olivier, who died in a scuffle with three locals at Kishengarh village in Vasant Kunj last week, had advised them not to carry out any protest. Olivier’s relatives met senior police officers at the headquarters to discuss the developments in the case.
TWO MORE ARRESTED
Three more people were arrested in connection with the attack on six Africans. Five people arrested on Sunday. The three were arrested from a local’s house in Rajpur Khurd, where they were hiding. DCP (South) Ishwar Singh said, “We have arrested all the accused in the case. We have held meeting with the locals and sensitised them.”