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‘Indians were attacked in Congo’

delhi Updated: May 27, 2016 09:14 IST

NEW DELHI: Local residents in Congo’s capital Kinshasa fired shots and attacked shops owned by Indians in an apparent backlash against the murder of an African man in Delhi, the government said on Thursday. Two Indians were injured in the violence.

The ministry of external affairs (MEA) said Indian establishments were targeted on Monday and Wednesday in the city’s commercial district and the Indian mission in Kinshasa took up the issue with Congo’s foreign ministry.

“It has come to the notice of our mission in Kinshasa that some Indian establishments and shops in the commercial areas were attacked on May 23 and May 25 as a reaction perhaps to the killing of the Congolese national in New Delhi last Friday,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

“It has also been reported there were some gunshots fired, injuring a couple of Indians living in the area. Our ambassador took up the matter immediately with the Congolese foreign ministry.”

No more attacks were reported since Wednesday evening, he added.

Congolese national Masonda Ketada Oliver was beaten to death allegedly by three men in an altercation over hailing an autorickshaw in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj on Friday.

The death of the 29-yearold triggered a full-blown diplomatic crisis with envoys from African nations expressing shock. But the crisis was defused after foreign minister Sushma Swaraj assured the ambassadors of the safety of their nationals, including students, in India.

Some envoys even sought the postponement of the government’s flagship Africa Day event but decided to participate after minister of state in the MEA, VK Singh, met the African heads of missions.

This was the latest in a series of assaults on students and professionals from African nations. In January, a mob in Bengaluru allegedly dragged a Tanzanian woman out of a car and stripped her. Last year, a mob in Delhi’s busy Rajiv Chowk Metro station allegedly attacked three African students.

First Published: May 27, 2016 09:14 IST