Attacks on nationals "xenophobic, racial", say African envoys

NEW DELHI
3 Apr 2017

In a strong reaction to attacks on African nationals, heads of African missions in India termed the incidents as "xenophobic and racial" and asserted that no known, sufficient and visible deterring measures have been taken by the Union government.

The envoys, who recently held a "special" meeting on the incidents, called for an independent investigation by the Human Rights Council as well as other human rights bodies and also to comprehensively report the matter to the Commission of the African Union. They said they expected a strong condemnation from the highest political level both nationally and locally. A press release dated March 31 from the office of the dean of the African group head of the missions here, said the meeting was convened to look into the recent attacks against African students in Greater Noida.

"The meeting unanimously agreed that those accumulated attacks against Africans are xenophobic and racial in nature," they said. The envoys reviewed the incidents that have taken place in the past and concluded that no known, sufficient and visible deterring measures were taken by the Indian government, it said. Condemning the recent attacks, they expressed their deep concern and also noted that these "reprehensible events, both outstanding and unresolved cases against Africans, were not sufficiently condemned by the Indian authorities". There are missions of more than 50 African countries which are accredited to India. Four Nigerian students were attacked by a group of Greater Noida residents who took out a candle-light march last after a 17-year-old boy Manish died due to suspected drug overdose.

The protest march was taken out after the police released some Nigerians detained for questioning in connection with death of Manish, a class 12 student, due to "lack of evidence". The CPM asked the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government today to treat as a "wake-up call" the strong view taken by heads of African missions in India over attacks on their nationals. "This should be a wake up call for the Central and UP govt. Africa and India have shared great ties historically (sic)," CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury tweeted.