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A timeline of attacks against African nationals

We take stock of several other incidents of attacks against African nationals that made headlines.

On May 20, a Congolese national in Delhi was beaten to death by three men, after an altercation over hiring of an auto-rickshaw in the Vasant Kunj area turned violent.

Immediately following this, at least seven Africans, including four women, were > allegedly attacked and racially abused by a mob in Rajpur Khurd village in South Delhi’s Mehrauli.

The > two incidents prompted the 54-member African Group of Heads of Mission in Delhi to cancel the Africa Day celebrations in their embassies. They also came close to pulling out of the celebrations conducted by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

The African Students Association in India has announced that it would take out a ‘March for Justice’ rally in the national capital on Tuesday to protest against the attacks.

The incidents have brought to focus the slew of racist attacks against African nationals in recent years. We take stock of those that made headlines.

May 2016: Nigerian student assaulted over parking in Hyderabad

A 23-year-old Nigerian student was > assaulted with an iron rod by a local resident after the two got into an argument over parking on May 22. The incident took place at Banjara Hills, where both of them stay. Kazeem, a student of Nizam College, sustained minor injuries. A case has been registered against Mohd. Gaffoor for assaulting Kazeem.

January 2016: Tanzanian woman stripped and molested in Bengaluru

On January 31, 2016, a Sudanese national drove his car over a 35-year-old woman, killing her. A mob that gathered in the area burnt down the car of the Sudanese national as he tried to flee.

A Tanzanian student passing by in a car, along with two other students, > bore the brunt of the mob’s attacks. The 24-year woman was chased, stripped and assaulted. The car was torched as well.

The incident occurred on a Sunday night, but a complaint was not registered until Tuesday. Investigations began after the Tanzanian High Commission registered a protest with the Indian government, prompting External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to write to Karnataka Chief Minister K. Siddaramaiah.

September 2015: Congolese student beaten up in Bengaluru

A 23-year-old Congolese national was > tied to a pole and beaten up by some local residents in Kammanahalli.

Locals objected to Borguy Mavinga playing loud music in his car, which he had parked near to buy water from a local eatery. Mavinga, allegedly in an inebriated state, was returning home after dropping his friend at Hebbal.

A heated argument ensued. As a mob gathered around him, he got into his car and tried to speed away. He was chased, beaten up and tied to a pole before police intervened.

March 2015: Three Cote D'Ivoire nationals beaten up in Kothanur, Bengaluru

The assaults were triggered allegedly after locals were annoyed by a speeding rider, said to be an African national, and a “rashly-driven” car, also with foreigners in it.

Though the two vehicles escaped the barrage of stones that was thrown on them, it was the unsuspecting Africans in the area who bore the brunt. The mob sought out, > chased and attacked Africans who were in the area. David and his three friends — Sako, Merveil, Abdel — were walking down the road when they were assaulted.

2014: Midnight ‘raid’ in Delhi

Former Delhi Law minister Somnath Bharti > allegedly approved of and led a midnight raid in a house in Khirki Extension in South Delhi, charging its residents with prostitution and drug peddling.

He led the raid despite being told by the police that the house could not be searched without a warrant.

Four women – two Ugandan and two Nigerian – were surrounded by a mob. Two were forced to give urine samples in public.

The African residents of Khrikhi Extension also alleged that the mob forced their way into their homes, passing racist remarks and manhandling them.

Three African women had recorded their statements before a magistrate, in which they explicitly stated that Mr. Bharti had barged into their house along with his supporters on the intervening night of January 15-16.

Also read: > A racist turn in Bengaluru

November 2013: Nigerian stabbed to death in Goa

Nigerian national Obado Uzoma Simoen was > found stabbed to death in November. Police officials say it was committed by locals in a narcotics-related turf war between rival gangs operating in north coastal Goa.

Following the murder, nearly 100 Nigerians blocked a highway near Porvorim in north Goa for a few hours, leading to the arrest of 53 for disrupting traffic and assaulting police. Two Nigerian were seriously injured in the ruckus.

July 2013: Chad national attacked in >Hennur, Karnataka

Forty-four-year-old Chad national Wandoh Timothy, an IT professional and church pastor, > was assaulted by nearly 10 people in full public view in July, 2013.

He 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.

2012: Burundi national beaten to near death in Jalandhar

Yannick Nihangaza, a Burundi national, was attacked on April 21, 2012, while returning from a party. He had who enrolled in a computer engineering course at the Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Jalandhar.

He was > left to die by the roadside and it was only later that passers-by took him to the hospital. Seven persons have been sentenced to 10 years in jail for the attack, while two have reportedly fled the country.

The Punjab government ordered a probe and provided financial aid of Rs. 5 lakh towards his medical expenses nearly two months after the attack.

Also read: > For now we see through a glass, darkly

2010: Body of Tanzanian national found on Bengaluru railway tracks

The body Imran Mtui, a Tanzanian national, was found beheaded at the railway tracks near Bengaluru. His arm had allegedly been slit open, indicating that he was tortured to death.

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Printable version | May 22, 2020 4:26:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/A-timeline-of-attacks-against-African-nationals/article14347772.ece

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