Govt. in damage control mode after envoys threaten to boycott Africa Day fete

May 25, 2016 12:04 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:12 pm IST

A day after the African Group of Heads of Mission declared that it would not be a part of Africa Day celebrations in New Delhi following the death of a Congolese student in a suspected racial attack, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said she has spoken to Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung to take the necessary steps and "ensure that this case is tried by a Fast Track Court."

African diplomats had announced that they are likely to recommend to their governments “not to send new students to India” because of “stereotypes and racial prejudice against Africans in India."

Here's what Ms. Swaraj said:

An earlier report by Kallol Bhattacherjee: Envoys to boycott Africa Day fete today

Following a meeting of the group in the High Commission of Ghana on Tuesday, senior African diplomats met officials at the External Affairs Ministry, and called upon India “to take concrete steps to guarantee the safety and security of Africans”.

“Accordingly, the Indian government is strongly enjoined to take urgent steps to guarantee the safety of Africans in India, including appropriate programmes of public awareness that will address the problems of racism and Afro-phobia in India,” a press statement from the group stated.

“As regards this year’s celebration of Africa Day being organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations for Thursday, the African Group has requested a postponement of the event. This is because the African Community in India are in a state of mourning,” said Ambassador Alem Tsehage Woldemariam in a press release.

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