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Indian's killing in Uganda sparks row

delhi Updated: Apr 14, 2007 17:26 IST

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An Indian national has been killed in a protest demonstration in Uganda prompting New Delhi to take up the matter with Kampala.

Devang Raval of Ahmedabad was killed when a protest by environmentalists in the Ugandan capital Kampala turned violent on Thursday leading to attacks on Indian businessmen.

A Swaminarayan Temple, a branch of the Bank of Baroda and some shops owned by people of Indian origin suffered damage in the violence.

Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma took up the matter with the Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kuteesa, who assured him of firm action against the perpetrators of the violence.

"The government (of Uganda) has given firm assurance that no harm will be done to Indians," Sharma told reporters here.

He said the External Affairs Ministry was in constant touch with the government of Uganda and the Indian High Commissioner.
Sharma denied that there was large-scale violence against Indians. "It was a demonstration on a different issue and some other elements joined them and resorted to violence," he said.

Sharma said the Indian High Commissioner has been fully assured by the Ugandan authorities about the steps taken in the aftermath of the violence.

The Ugandan authorities had first provided security to the Indian establishments, broken the demonstration and controlled the violence by deployment of armed police.

The Internal Security Minister had met with the Indian Association and reassured them of the measures taken. Most of the major installations run by people of Indian origin had reopened.

The Ugandan President had spoken strongly about the violence and termed the perpetrators as "anti-national". The environmentalists were protesting against a plan by the Ugandan government to hand over nearly a third of the country's largest forest reserve to the Sugar Corporation of Uganda, a subsidiary Indian-run business house. Two Ugandans were also killed in the violence, including one who was shot dead by a security guard when he attempted to loot an Indian shop.