Assault on Tanzanian student is not a racial attack, says Karnataka Home Minister

‘But it is a very serious and highly regrettable issue’

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:34 pm IST

Published - February 04, 2016 02:56 pm IST - BENGALURU

Close on the heels of the attack and manhandling of a 24-year-old Tanzanian student in Soladevanahalli of Bengaluru taking a serious diplomatic turn, Karnataka Home Minister G. Parameshwara on Thursday maintained that the episode was not a "racial attack" even as he admitted that it was a "very serious and highly regrettable" issue.

"It is a very serious issue and we will not take it casually," Mr. Parameshwara told reporters at a press conference, soon after DG & IGP Omprakash and Bengaluru City Police Commissioner N.S. Megharik visited the spot where the incident took place and briefed him about the episode.

He disclosed the name of the victim while denying reports that the victim had been stripped and paraded naked. "The incident has nothing to do with racialism as it was just a road rage that came as response to an accident in which a Sudanese student, who was driving a car in an inebriated condition, mowed down a woman besides seriously injuring her husband," he said.

Five arrested and probe report to be ready in two days

The police had not only arrested five persons in connection with the episode, but also ordered an inquiry headed by a Additional Commissioner of Police (West) Charan Reddy. The inquiry report would be ready in about two days, he said and declared that he would initiate action against the police officers concerned too if they were found guilty.

Pointing out that more than 12,000 foreign students were residing in Bengaluru, he assured them that it would be the responsibility of the State Government, especially the Home Department, to take care of their security. The police would particularly focus on the security of African students in the areas which had their strong presence, he said, while seeking to allay any fears about their security.

CM briefs Sushma

The Home Minister said that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had already briefed External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj about the episode including the reasons which triggered it.

He also disclosed that Congress High Command too had asked for a report on the episode. "They have sought such a report after seeing media reports. We will respond to them soon," he noted.

Replying to a barrage of questions on the increase in the alleged incidents of foreign nationals causing inconvenience to local residents and also residing illegally without proper immigration documents, he said he would write to all the educational institutions, asking them to make sure that foreign students have all the relevant documents before admitting them to various educational courses. Similarly the law of land would apply to foreign nationals too and they too would face action if they violate them, he said.

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