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Updated: March 27, 2013 02:13 IST

Ensure Indians’ safety in Central African Republic: Manmohan

Sandeep Dikshit
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh shakes hands with Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff during a bilateral meeting ahead of the BRICS 5 Summit in Durban, South Africa on Tuesday.
PTI Prime Minister Manmohan Singh shakes hands with Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff during a bilateral meeting ahead of the BRICS 5 Summit in Durban, South Africa on Tuesday.

Sequel to gunning down of 2 Indians by French forces; Hollande expresses regret

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is here for the BRICS Summit, has directed that all efforts be made to ensure the safety of about 100 Indians in the Central African Republic (CAR), mainly in and around its capital, after French forces shot dead two Indian nationals. The dead were among 15 Indians travelling in three cars with some Chad nationals.

In a letter that reached Dr. Singh here, followed by a phone call, French President Francois Hollande expressed regret for the incident in which six Indians were seriously injured at Bangui Airport. CAR has been overrun by a rebel group in the ongoing civil war.

According to reports, French troops, trying to protect their country’s interests after the fleeing of CAR President Francois Bozize, fired at the vehicles killing the two Indians. The six seriously injured Indians have been shifted to a French military hospital in Chad while the other seven are now in Brazzaville where India’s Honorary Consul General is making arrangements to send them back to India in a day or two.

While conveying his condolences, Mr. Hollande assured the Prime Minister of his “firm determination” to investigate the incident and assured that the injured were under the care of French medical teams.

The Indian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, who is concurrently accredited to CAR, is making the necessary arrangements for the return of the mortal remains of the Indian nationals in accordance with the desires of their next of kin.

According to the French, its forces in charge of protecting the Bangui airport, intervened in a “particularly confusing situation” against three vehicles threatening to penetrate it, at a time when their forces had just been fired at from an “unknown source.”

Despite warning shots fired by the guarding forces, the vehicles continued to proceed at high speed, they said. The French forces immediately took care of the injured Indian and Chadians nationals, who were taken to a medical unit (they were then shifted to Chad).

French Minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian also spoke to his Indian counterpart A.K. Antony. France has substantial defence business at hand with India. When Mr. Hollande visited India recently, the French side insisted and got incorporated in the joint communiqué a commitment from India to select its companies shortlisted for lucrative defence and civil nuclear energy contracts.

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For the sake of argument, if in a similar situation, Indian troops had killed a couple of French or British or US citizens, peoples and governments of those countries would be calling for tough action and compensation. So should we, in the present circumstances.
Also, why are the French troops in the Central African Republic or Mali and other Francofone countries? What is the legal framework and laws governing the actions of these French troops? They are not there on a UN mandate but are merely continuing the French colonial presence.

from:  mohansingh
Posted on: Mar 28, 2013 at 18:25 IST

I appreciate your nationalist thought, please could you imagine if the
same would have happened to french troops by our Indian mates. In that
case, do you think the french wouldn't have asked an explanation from
Indian Government. Please look into the matter in the merit of it, the
casualties are of us. we need to ask for an explanation, if they haven't
found to be guilty, well and good, go ahead.

from:  AS AJAYBASKAR
Posted on: Mar 27, 2013 at 11:28 IST

When will we Indians change? We don't know the exact situation on how this happened but we are quick to call for their troops to be prosecuted?

Do you have any idea how India is viewed by other countries because of irresponsible comments like these?

from:  SR
Posted on: Mar 26, 2013 at 20:13 IST

It might have been really a tragedy though, but we should not tolerate
and accept their (french counterpart's)condolences. Rather we must
prosecute their troop people to make sure the similar instances would
not repeat in future.

from:  ASAJAYBASKAR
Posted on: Mar 26, 2013 at 12:28 IST
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