A mob on Thursday attacked Indian-owned businesses and vehicles in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital of Kinshasa, Reuters reported. The violence took place amid protests against death of a Congolese student in Bengaluru in police custody.
Joel Shindani Malu, 27, was arrested by the Bengaluru police on August 1 on charges of possessing drugs. He died the next day in Bengaluru’s JC Nagar Police station.
A senior police official claimed that Malu died of cardiac arrest and there were no physical injuries in his body, The Times of India reported. However, protestors alleged that he had been beaten up by the police.
On Thursday, the police in Congo said that a mob looted Indian-owned shops, set a car ablaze and stoned three other vehicles, according to Reuters. The incident took place in Kinshasa’s Limete neighbourhood.
“Uncivilised people, mainly young people, have been looting stores and warehouses held by Indian nationals,” Kinshasa Police Commissioner Sylvano Kasongo said. The police have arrested three persons and recovered 40 bales of stolen clothing, the police commissioner added.
Two days after Malu’s death, a protest in Bengaluru turned violent as clashes erupted between people from African nations and the police outside the station. The clashes started after the protestors allegedly abused and tried to snatch batons from police personnel, according to witnesses who spoke to The News Minute.
The people from African nations blocked traffic and chanted slogans, saying that Black Lives Matter, in a reflection of the movement that has its roots in the United States. The police then resorted to baton charge, injuring many protestors.
Protests related to the Black Lives Matter gained traction across the world following the death of African-American man George Floyd, who was murdered by Derek Chauvin, a police officer in United States’ Minnesota, in May last year. Chauvin was sentenced to prison for 270 months in June.
In India, there have been multiple reports of people from African countries facing racial prejudice and violence.