Attack on Nigerians: Sushma promises swift action, MJ Akbar speaks to envoy
Four Nigerians were wounded when locals attacked Africans in Greater Noida.Updated: Mar 30, 2017 12:57 IST
The government moved into damage control mode on Tuesday, briefing the Nigerian envoy on steps taken for the security of the nationals of his country in Greater Noida, where four men were attacked by a protesting mob a day earlier.
Five people were arrested late on Monday after some locals assaulted a group of Africans out for evening shopping in Greater Noida in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.
The locals were angry over a teenaged boy’s death because of suspected drugs overdose, blaming the Nigerians living in his building for supplying him the contraband.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj spoke to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath after an African student tweeted for help.
“He (Adityanath) has assured that there will be a fair and impartial investigation into this unfortunate incident,” she said in series of tweets on Tuesday.
I have spoken to Yogi Adityanath ji Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh about attack on African students in Greater Noida. /1— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 28, 2017
He has assured that there will be a fair and impartial investigation into this unfortunate incident. /2— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 28, 2017
The government is keen to avoid an escalation of situation as has happened in the past. Monday’s violence against Africans is the latest in string of such incidents in New Delhi and its satellite cities.
At least six Africans, most of them Nigerians, were wounded in three separate incidents in south Delhi’s Chattarpur in May, a week after a 23-year-old Congolese man was stoned to death in a village near Vasant Kunj.
Minister of state for external affairs MJ Akbar on Tuesday spoke to the acting high commissioner of Nigeria and apprised him of the steps being taken for the security of Nigerian nationals.
“Yesterday’s incident in Greater Noida, in which several people of African origin were injured, is deplorable,” ministry of external affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay said on Tuesday.
“The government is committed to ensuring safety and security of all foreigners in India. People from Africa, including students and youth, remain our valued partners.”
The locals held the protest after police let go off five Nigerians detained for questioning in the death of Class 12 student Manish Khari, who died of a cardiac arrest on Saturday.
The protesters, who were shouting slogans against Africans, turned violent and beat up the Africans they saw on the road, Greater Noida superintendent of police Sujata Singh said.
“They also went to Ansal Mall and caused havoc and beat up Africans there. Police then rescued them and moved them to a safe place,” she said.
Many African students live in Greater Noida, where some private universities have set up campuses.
(with PTI inputs)