More than a dozen African nationals were attacked in South Delhi last week, even as African diplomats and leaders had threatened to boycott Africa Day celebrations after the recent murder of a Congolese man. The attacks reportedly took place in Rajpur Khurd, Chhattarpur, and the victims were beaten with cricket bats and iron rods as they went home in cars and autorickshaws. Around seven people were hospitalised after the attacks.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Jimmy Chiram told The Telegraph that police had questioned several people from the area. On Friday, after FIRs had been registered, a police team reportedly went around the village with around 10 of the victims, in order to identify the attackers. As of Friday evening, no arrests had been made in the case.
Nigerian priest Kenneth Igbinosa reportedly said that his car was attacked by a mob when he was returning home with his wife and four-month-old son on Wednesday. “It was around 10.30. Six guys rushed out of Naveen General Store and started smashing my car with cricket bats. I stopped and asked what had happened…They yelled something in Hindi. Several others joined them and attacked me with sharp planks of wood. I got back in and drove off to save my wife and baby. They smashed my windscreen and rear screen as I drove to my brother Jason's place,” he told The Telegraph. Igbinosa’s car had apparently been attacked once before in March, and he was assaulted in October as well.
The incidents come after several instances of violence against African nationals have come to light in recent months. A Tanzanian woman was stripped and attacked in Bengaluru in February, which triggered protests in the city (pictured above). After Masonda Ketanda Olivier’s death in Delhi last week, a Nigerian student was assaulted in Hyderabad.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had ordered an investigation into the incident in Hyderabad and assured the African community in India of their safety in the country.