More than 100 Indians working or studying abroad have been attacked, kidnapped or murdered in the last three years, some of them on racial grounds, government statistics have revealed. The majority of the attacks, however, were seemingly for money.
Indians have been attacked in 16 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia between 2004 and 2007. Iraq, Philippines, Afghanistan and Nepal top the list of countries most unsafe for Indians.
So far, 14 Indians have been killed in Iraq.
The cases of three Indians — Border Roads Organisation’s M.R. Kutty and engineers Kedoor Bharath Kumar and K. Suryanarayana — being kidnapped and murdered in Afghanistan were widely reported.
What was not reported was that that the “Indian consulates in Kandahar, Jalalabad and Heart have been attacked with grenades several times during the last three years (2004-2007). There have also been attacks on the personnel working in different projects in Afghanistan undertaken by Indian companies,” Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi told Parliament on Wednesday.
The increase in crimes against Indians working in Philippines have also gone unreported. Between 2004 and 2006, 37 Indians were murdered in the South Asian country, with 18 murders being reported in 2006. Most of the murders were related to kidnappings for ransom.
Besides Afghanistan, Indian Embassy officials and their families were attacked in Namibia and Russia. Priya Gupta, the wife of the then Indian attaché in Namibia, was walking back home from a neighbourhood clinic in Windhoek when she was robbed at knifepoint in January 2005. Priya escaped with minor injuries.
In Moscow in 2006, B. Mange Ram, the attaché to the Indian Embassy, was attacked by a group of five men but survived. Ravi told Parliament that several Indian students have been attacked in Russia besides in Nepal and Slovak Republic.
In one case reported from Poland, Harish Hitange was kidnapped by unidentified people in April 2004 in Warsaw while returning home from work. He is yet to the traced. There were several instances where Indian students were attacked by armed gangs.
HT reported in June how Indian students were being attacked in Sydney.