Jaishankar assures African students of safety; Ola driver assaulted by Africans (Roundup)

New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar on Monday assured a group of African students that the Indian government is committed to ensuring their safety and security even as an Ola driver was allegedly thrashed by a group of Africans after he refused to take more than four passengers in his cab.

In a related development, the family members of Congolese national Masonda Ketada Olivier, who who beaten to death on May 20 by some locals over a minor altercation, arrived in the Indian capital to take back the mortal remains. A senior official of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs was there at the airport to receive the kin.

A group of African students also held a protest at Jantar Mantar here, holding aloft placards that read ‘Racism Ruins Lives’, and demanded that the Indian government act swiftly to stop attacks on the community.

On Tuesday, a two-hour peaceful protest demonstration has been planned at the same venue by the Association of African Students in India (AASI) and Association For Community Research and Action (ACRA). External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State V.K. Singh are expected to meet African students here on Tuesday to assure them of safety and security.

On Monday morning, Jaishankar met a group of African students at the Jawaharlal Nehru Bhavan here and assured them of the safety and security of the community in India.

“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.

The spate of rising attacks on African nationals has caused outrage among the community, several thousands of who study in India. The African envoys had last week threatened to boycott the Africa Day event over the murder of Olivier.

The Indian government stepped in to assure the African envoys of the safety and security of their nationals after which the envoys attended the May 26 event.

Sushma Swaraj is personally monitoring the outreach to the Africans.

Meanwhile, an Ola cab driver was allegedly assaulted by a group of Africans — five men and a woman — after he refused to allow more than four passengers to travel in his vehicle, police said.

The incident took place in Mehrauli area in south Delhi around 4 a.m.

The Ola taxi driver, identified as Nooruddin Ali, suffered cuts and bruises near his left eye in the attack.

“Nooruddin was attacked when he refused to carry more than four passengers in his car… he was thrashed by the six people, including a woman,” Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Nupur Prasad told IANS.

The woman attacker has been arrested while her other five associates managed to escape before police reached the spot following a PCR call, she said.

Police registered a case at the Mehrauli police station against the Africans under sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 506 (punishment of criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

In Panaji, Goa Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said that Nigerian nationals not just “create problems” in Goa, but across the country too.

Asked to comment on accusations of rape and kidnapping against two Africans levelled by a woman at Mapusa police station on Sunday, he said that Nigerian students commit crimes on purpose to prolong their stay, sell drugs and indulge in “unwanted things”.

He also said that a strict pan-India law should be enacted to deport them within one month.

On May 25, a Nigerian student in Hyderabad was allegedly beaten by an Indian over a parking dispute, while on May 28, four separate cases of alleged assault on Africans in the national capital was reported.

–IANS

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