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Foreign secy meets African students; Congolese man’s brother ‘scared’

Foreign secretary S Jaishankar met a group of African students in New Delhi on Monday and assured them of the safety and security of the community in India after a string of attacks on African nationals.

india Updated: May 30, 2016 16:26 IST
African students in India,Crime against Africans,Attack on African nationals
The brother of Masonda Ketada Olivier, a Congolese national who was killed on May 20, talks to news agency ANI.(Photo: ANI Twitter account)

Foreign secretary S Jaishankar met a group of African students in New Delhi on Monday and assured them of their security in India after a string of attacks on African nationals.

Thousands of African students in India were outraged after a 29-year-old man from Congo was allegedly assaulted and battered to death by three men in south Delhi following an argument over hiring an auto-rickshaw around 10 days ago.

In the wake of a debate on racial bias, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was personally monitoring the outreach to the Africans, assuring swift action against culprits and a sensitisation programme.

“Continuing outreach to African community. Foreign secretary meets a group of African students,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

“Foreign secretary to students: Ensuring safety and security of foreign students is an article of faith for us,” he added.

Read: Delhi cabbie beaten up by African nationals for refusing extra passengers

Jaishankar’s move came as several African students staged a protest at Jantar Mantar and demanded that the Indian government act swiftly to stop such incidents.

A Nigerian student in Hyderabad was allegedly beaten up over a parking dispute on May 25 and four separate cases of alleged assault on African nationals in the national capital were reported three days later. However, police say some of these incidents are non-racial in nature.

“We want the government’s support as the incidents of attacks on people from African continent are increasing in the city. The Indian government needs to ensure safety of African nationals and act swiftly on such incidents,” said a protester at Jantar Mantar.

Read: As African envoys raise racism concern, Swaraj tries to allay fears

Olivier’s family in Delhi

The family members of Masonda Ketada Olivier, the Congolese national who was killed on May 20, arrived in India to take back his remains. A senior external affairs ministry official met them at the airport.

“We are disappointed about security in India for our students,” Oliver’s brother said.

“What happened to him can happen to any one of us...we’re scared.”

African envoys threatened last week to boycott the Africa Day event over Olivier’s murder. The Indian government stepped in to assure the envoys of the safety of their nationals after which they attended the May 26 event.

Read: Don’t party and drink in public, Delhi cops tell African nationals

First Published: May 30, 2016 15:59 IST