The Karnataka government has suspended a senior police official in connection with the alleged assault and stripping of a Tanzanian woman student, even as African students staged a rally over the incident in Bengaluru on Saturday.
Assistant commissioner of police AN Pise of Yeshwanthpur division has been suspended for dereliction of duty, police commissioner NS Megharikh said, a day after Tanzanian high commissioner John WH Kijazi and external affairs ministry officials flew in to meet state officials and the African students.
With this, six policemen — an ACP, an inspector and four constables — have been suspended, Megharikh said.
On a mission to build confidence among African students — some 10,000 students from Africa study at the various colleges in the city — the Tanzanian envoy had backed the steps taken by the government in connection with the incident on Sunday. “We are very much impressed with the action already taken,” Kijazi had said, dismissing the talk about racism.
Nine persons have been arrested in connection with the incident in which a 21-year-old Tanzanian woman faced mob fury after a Sudanese man allegedly driving in an inebriated state had struck a couple, killing a woman on the spot.
Police, however, have maintained it was a case of “mistaken identity” and not racism.
Meanwhile, in a show of solidarity for the group of students attacked by the mob, around 200 African students stood in silent protest at Town Hall on Saturday morning.
A blood donation drive to sensitise Indians to the plight of African students has also been planned in March.
“The Same Blood Campaign” is an initiative of Federation of International Students Association Bangalore and Just Practicals — a skill development start-up offering practical, job-relevant training to African and international students in Bengaluru.
The event, planned in March, is aimed at sensitising the local populace to African students and to drive a sense of harmony and togetherness, Just Practicals said in a statement.
“People need to understand the differences and the similarities as it is the same blood and the same race that is donating this blood,” said Prince Nkita, a student from the Republic of Congo.