African students in India should not fear for safety, says Pranab

  • HT Correspondent
  • Updated: May 31, 2016 11:51 IST

NEW DELHI: Days after a spate of attack on Africans in India, President Pranab Mukherjee warned that it would be “most unfortunate” if the tradition of Indo-African friendship is diluted.

Addressing the gathering of Indian envoys posted across the world, the President said, “It would be most unfortunate if the people of India were to dilute our long tradition of friendship with the people of Africa and the welcome we have always extended to them in our country. African students in India should have no reason to fear for their safety and security.”

Mukherjee’s assertion assumes significance as he is also scheduled to visit three African nations — Namibia, Ghana and Ivory Coast early next month.

A dozen Africans were allegedly attacked and racially abused by the residents of Maidangarhi and Rajpur Khurd villages on Friday. Police registered four separate FIRs and said the attacks were not planned. Five persons were also arrested in connection to the case.

The attacks on the African youths, mostly from Nigeria, come less than a week after a 23-year-old Congo national was stoned to death by three men in Kishangarh village near Vasant Kunj. The victims have planned a protest march at Jantar Mantar on Tuesday.

Mukherjee emphasized on creating awareness about the history of the Indo-African ties among the youth. “We shall have to create appropriate awareness in the minds of our youngsters who may not know the history, age old relations with Africa. India has had trading relations with African countries for centuries and every one of the 54 countries of Africa has a thriving Indian community doing business, industry etc.” (With PTI inputs)

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