Nigerian nationals accused of wreaking havoc in Nallasopara

Shattered: One of the vehicles allegedly damaged by the mob on Wednesday.

Shattered: One of the vehicles allegedly damaged by the mob on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Mob took to streets after countryman was allegedly murdered

Several African nationals, believed to be Nigerians living in Nallasopara, took to the streets early on Wednesday after the alleged murder of Joseph, one of their countrymen.

According to the police, the mob vandalised several vehicles and beat up two men in Pragati Nagar, Nallasopara (East), between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. A police officer from the Tulinj police station said they received a call around 4 a.m from the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation hospital, informing them that the body of an African man had been brought to the hospital.

“The body had a few injuries on the leg and near the stomach. We have sent it for post-mortem and are awaiting the reports. The cause of death is not known yet. We are still investigating when the body was brought and by whom,” an officer said.

Assistant police inspector Shauraj Ranawane said 12 vehicles were damaged, but the scale of the damage might be far more as they attacked four different locations in Pragati Nagar and not everyone has filed a complaint.

The police said Furkan Khan and his brother Sadam, who are fruit sellers, were beaten up by the mob. Mr. Ranawane said, “Furkan was sleeping in his shop when he heard his brother scream for help around 2 a.m. He rushed out to see the men beating up Sadam, who was sleeping on his cart. The mob beat both of them with bamboo sticks and marched ahead, destroying more vehicles.”

Bala Murghan, an Uber driver, said he saw a group of men destroy his car around 2.30 a.m.. “Though they weren’t Indians, the men were abusing in Hindi and violently walked through the street. Who will compensate my losses?” he said.

Another Pragati Nagar resident, Kumar Bhartwaj, whose autorickshaw was vandalised, said he woke up to a damaged vehicle. “It was only when those who saw members of the African community wreak havoc told me what had happened that I got to know about the incident. I am able to afford a meal only after I have worked for the day. How will I work with a damaged autorickshaw? Who will feed my family?” he asked.

Mr. Ranawane said an FIR regarding Joseph’s death will be registered only after the cause of death is established. “As far as the destruction allegedly caused by the Nigerians is concerned, a case of unlawful assembly, causing damage and rioting with weapons has been filed under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, and investigation is on,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 2:57:23 AM |

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