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 on Thursday night.
The victims include a Nigerian couple and their young son, a Cameroonian brother-sister duo returning from a hospital, a Ugandan hairstylist standing outside her shop and another Nigerian young man coming from a hospital. All the purported victims and fellow Africans living in the village have claimed that the attack was planned. However, the police described the attacks as “scuffle” between two sides.
Of those injured, 29-year-old Leuchy was the first one to be attacked around 10.30 p.m. and sustained a deep cut on his nose and the treatment required some stitches. Three more set of attacks were carried out by a group, variably described as consisting of 10 to 15 people armed with cricket bats, iron rods and sharp-edged weapons.
“It was as if the mob was waiting for any African who passed through the lane between 10.30 p.m. to 11 p.m. We asked help from locals but no one came forward to save us,” said Shamira, a Ugandan woman who was returning from a church. Another woman who did not reveal her identity but said she was half Indian was also attacked along with Shamira. All the victims The Hindu spoke to said that in each case racial slurs were used.
“They called us Habshis [a derogatory word used for Africans in Delhi] and said ‘Black Africans go back’ as they landed their blows and kicks on us,” said Vicky who along with her brother Pierres were attacked outside their house.‘Not racial’
The police, however, denied the attacks being coordinated or racial. “Local residents had a minor scuffle with Africans as they had been playing loud music at late night hours by the Africans. The other reason was drinking in public places which the locals had objected to,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Ishwar Singh.