External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said an impartial probe will be held into the attack on African students in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh after opposition members raised concern over the issue in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
As New Delhi switched into damage control mode, Nigerian foreign office expressed ‘displeasure’ at the attacks with the Indian envoy.
Replying to concerns raised by prominent opposition leaders Sharad Yadav (JD-U), Sitaram Yechury (CPI(M), Anand Sharma (Congress), who were supported by the deputy chairman P J Kurien, Swaraj said the incident was “unfortunate” and the Centre has sought a report from the state government.
Nigerian foreign office called in Indian high commissioner B N Reddy to express displeasure over the attacks on Nigerian students in India and voiced concern that the incident was not the first of its kind.
Sola Enikanolaiye, the permanent secretary, ministry of foreign affairs Nigeria, met Reddy on Wednesday.
“I have just finished a meeting with the Indian High Commissioner where I expressed Nigeria’s displeasure with the attacks on Nigerians (sic),” Enikanolaiye tweeted.
He said the Indian High Commissioner “informed of concrete steps taken” by the Indian government to address the incident and also promised justice.
“We think this should not have happened considering the excellent relationship between two of us — the two countries have things in common and have been great friends,” the Nigerian official said.
“The moment I got information about the attack, I immediately sought a report from the Uttar Pradesh government. I also talked to chief minister Yogi Adityanath and asked him for a public assurance of an impartial probe into the matter,” Swaraj told the Rajya Sabha.
She said the chief minister has assured of an impartial probe into the Monday night attack on four Nigerian students by a crowd in Greater Noida, some 40 km from the national capital.
The mob targeted the African nationals blaming them for drug running following the death of a teen due to suspected drug overdose.
“Unless the probe is complete, it will not be appropriate for me to say anything on the matter,” she said.
“The (UP) administration there is ensuring peace and security as well as treatment of the injured Nigerian students. I assure the Parliament, there will be an impartial probe and action will be taken against whoever found guilty,” she added.