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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Indians will be hit if Nigerians targeted: diplomat

IANS  Panaji, November 04, 2013
First Published: 19:56 IST(4/11/2013) | Last Updated: 12:59 IST(7/11/2013)

A Nigerian consular official warned on Monday that thousands of Indians in his country will be "thrown out on the streets" if police doesn't stop evicting Nigerians from their rented homes in Goa.

Speaking to IANS after meeting members of the Nigerian community in Goa, bureaucrats and police officials over the last two days, consular attache Jacob Nwadadia said the Goa government had until 9pm on Monday to stop the illegal eviction process.

"There are only 50,000 Nigerians living in India but there are over one million Indians living in Nigeria. Thousands of Indians living there will be thrown out on the streets if forcible eviction of Nigerians in Goa does not stop," Jacob said.

The official said Nigeria was five hours behind the Indian Standard Time and that there would be time for the Nigerian government to order action against Indians living there.

The Goa government has ordered a crackdown on all foreigners living in this tourism hub after a bitter clash between a mob of over 200 Nigerians on one side and police and locals on the other.

The Nigerians, who were protesting the murder of one of the compatriots, had blocked National Highway 17 for several hours, demanding the presence of Nigerian consular officials for the autopsy proceedings.

Chief minister Manohar Parrikar later claimed that the murder was a result of a war between two narcotics gangs, while the Nigerians said that their fellow national was murdered by the local drug mafia which had the sympathies of a minister.

Jacob, who spoke to IANS on his way back to New Delhi after a two-day tour of Goa, also said that police had been going from home to home in places where Nigerians resided and were forcibly evicting them out.

"They are evicting Nigerians forcibly. There is no rule of law," the attache said.

Jacob said a resolution passed by a local panchayat headed by the wife of a BJP legislator, Michael Lobo, banning Nigerians from the village should be withdrawn.

"This kind of harassment has to stop without delay," Jacob said, threatening with similar reciprocation in Nigeria.

Parrikar on Monday said that most Nigerians living in Goa only had photocopies of their passports and visas as proof of their nationality.


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