Police have arrested five persons in connection with the attacks on African nationals in South Delhi’s Mehrauli locality, ANI reported. This follows Minster of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj’s meeting with Minster of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh and Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung. She was assured that the assaulters, who attacked at least six Africans on Thursday night allegedly with cricket bats and iron rods, will be arrested at the earliest.
“They assured me that the culprits will be arrested soon, and a sensitisation campaign will be launched in areas where African nationals reside,” the minister said on Twitter. She added that she has asked Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh and Secretary of External Affairs Amar Sinha to meet with students who announced a demonstration at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on Sunday.
Condemning the matter, the home affairs minister said in a tweet on Sunday that he had spoken with the Delhi commissioner of police about the attacks faced by Africans in the capital. He directed strict action to be taken against the perpetrators and called for more police patrols to ensure everyone’s safety.
Three separate cases had been registered in the matter, and police had detained a few people. However, they denied that the attacks were motivated by racism, NDTV reported. Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Ishwar Singh said these were “isolated incidents”, not planned attacks. “It’s not as if there’s a public movement against African nationals,” he said, adding that the assaults took place in different locations, “at different times and for different reasons”.
Nigerian priest Kenneth Igbinosa said his car was attacked on Thursday with a cricket bat by a group of men when he was returning home with his wife and four-month-old son. Another Nigerian national, 32-year-old Leuchy, said a group of locals stopped his autorickshaw when he was on his way to church and attacked him with bats and a stone. He added that the group also damaged his friend’s car that was parked on the same street.
There have been several reported incidents of attacks on African nationals in India. On May 20, a 23-year-old Congolese man, Masonda Ketada Olivier, was beaten to death in the capital’s Vasant Kunj area, reportedly after an argument with locals over an autorickshaw. A Nigerian student was assaulted in Hyderabad after an altercation over a parking spot on May 25. A Tanzanian woman was stripped and attacked in Bengaluru in February.