Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured Leader of Opposition LK Advani on Tuesday that he would intervene in the issue of adequate protection for Indians in Uganda where anti-Asian violence claimed one life last week.
Advani called up the PM as tension built up in Gujarat with the arrival of the body of Devang Rawal, 25-year old Indian, who was killed, in Ahmedabad on Sunday evening.
Rawal was plucked off his motorcycle by a mob when a demonstration — against local government plans to allocate chunks of Mabira Forest to the Sugar Corporation of Uganda Ltd (Scoul) to expand its plantations — turned violent and lynched. Police killed two demonstrators. Scoul is owned by the Mehtas, a Ugandan-Asian family.
Advani, who represents Gujarat's Gandhinagar in the Lok Sabha, told Singh that he should intervene to ensure safety of Gujaratis. He also requested him that the Gujarat government should be informed of the steps taken in this regard.
Gujaratis are a sizeable number among Indians living in Uganda. They are worried about their security following the wave of violence in that country, which has reminded them of the violence that swept through the African country during Idi Amin’s regime in the early 1970s.
"The Prime Minister agreed with him (Advani) that safety of Indians in Uganda was a matter of concern and promised his intervention," Advani’s aide said.
Advani also spoke to a senior official at the Ugandan desk in the External Affairs Ministry and asked him to keep the Gujarat government informed about steps taken for the safety of the community in that country, he added.