It was the Gujaratis in Nairobi who bore the brunt of the terror attack at the Westgate shopping mall. Ten persons from the state died and more than 15 were injured in the four-day hostage drama that began on Saturday.
“This area is dominated by Gujaratis and the mall is the common market. We used to visit it twice or thrice a week to buy provisions,” said 39-year-old Rakesh Patel over phone from Nairobi.
Even the mall was built by a Gujarat firm -- Lakshambhai & Co — and over the half the shops in the complex are owned by Gujaratis. “Our temple is located 500 m from the mall,” said Swami Bhagwat Priyadasji of Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan.
A large number of Gujaratis had migrated to Africa when the British started the railway line connecting Mombasa and Kisumu. “People from Kutch and Saurashtra comprise the largest chunk of Indians in Kenya,” said former Kutch MP Babubhai Shah.
The body of eight year-old boy, who was killed on Saturday, meanwhile, was taken to Lalitpur, in Madhya Pradesh, for funeral on Wednesday.
Priyanshu, 8, was the son of Manoj Jain, an employee of Bank of Baroda in Nairobi.