Alleging police brutality, the African community in Bengaluru has demanded a probe into the death of a businessman who, according to the police, died in an accident while fleeing from them in Kothanur in the early hours of Monday.
The Nigeria Community of Students’ Association, Bengaluru, has identified the deceased as Ife Anyi, a businessman in his late 30s who hailed from Nigeria.
Various groups of people from nations in Africa living in the city have alleged police brutality. They say fears of discrimination, which had peaked after an attack on Tanzanian students last year, have resurfaced.
The city police, however, have denied the allegation. Officials said it was the police that tried to rescue him after he fell from the bike while trying to flee them during an alleged drug bust.
In a statement to the media, the police said a team from the Central Crime Branch, which was acting on a tip-off, was waiting on the Kothanur-Avalahalli Road to catch a drug-peddler. Two persons on a scooter, including Anyi, are alleged to have spotted the policemen and attempted to flee. “As they fled, the vehicle skid. When the police rushed to the spot, they saw the pillion rider lying in a pool of blood while the driver of the scooter escaped from the scene,” the police claimed. He was declared dead by the time he was sent to the hospital on Monday morning.
Members of the African community have demanded an independent inquiry. “The circumstances leading to the death are suspicious. We are not ready to accept the accident theory. It is a murder,” said Bosco Kaweesi, legal advisor to All Africa Students Association, Bengaluru.