Following the alleged racially-motivated attack on 44-year-old Ivory Coast national Wandoh Timothy at Hennur on July 9, hundreds of Africans in the city are planning to hold a rally to speak out against growing racism here.
Mr. Timothy, a software engineer, told The Hindu on Wednesday that the attack on him in full public view was not an isolated incident. “There are many people from Africa who are being subject to harassment in several ways,” said Mr. Timothy, who is now planning to move to Chennai.
Mr. Timothy said many people from Africa living in the city came to meet him. “They told me that there are around 75 students who have paid fees ranging from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh to various colleges. But the colleges have reneged on their commitment by denying them admission. Without getting admitted they will not get the residence permit and have to return home,” he said. “This is a clear case of cheating and harassment.”
The rally will address these concerns besides the growing racial profiling of Africans, Mr. Timothy said.
Mr. Timothy met Home Minister K.J. George on Wednesday and submitted memorandums to the State Human Rights Commission and Red Cross Society.
Mr. Timothy has been making these visits for justice despite being advised bed rest. His left eye was operated upon, one of his ribs is broken and he still cannot bend and walk with normal speed. “I just wanted to ensure that whatever happened to me should not happen to anyone,” he said.
On the afternoon of July 9, Mr. Timothy was allegedly harassed by two seemingly inebriated men in traffic. When he questioned their behaviour, they surrounded him and with the help of bystanders, attacked him brutally. He said none came to his rescue even when one of the men tried to attack him with a boulder.
Mr. Timothy has lived in Bangalore for three years at Kammanahalli. His wife is an Indian from Kerala and they have two daughters
“I know everyone in the locality — from the local fruit vendor to the pharmacist — but nobody came to my rescue during the attack that lasted nearly 30 minutes. When my attackers left, some shopkeeper informed the police,” he said. Mr. Timothy was first taken to a local clinic, but moved to a hospital as he had suffered serious injuries. Mr. Timothy had the presence of mind to pick up the identity card of one of the attackers and handed it over to the police. Assistant Commissioner of Police D. Narayanswamy said, based on the identity card, the police arrested Prabhu (23), driver of an earthmover, and Narasimha (24), a local businessman from Babusapalya. Both are now in judicial custody. Others involved in the attack are on the run.