The Heads of the African Mission accredited to India on Monday called the recent attacks on expatriates from the continent in Greater Noida “xenophobic and racial”. A statement from the envoys, which was circulating on Twitter, said that they had reviewed similar incidents from the past and noted that the Indian government had taken “no known, sufficient and visible deterring measures” to tackle them.

Mob violence in Greater Noida on March 27 left four Nigerian students injured. The diplomats called the incident “reprehensible” and said that Indian authorities had failed to adequately condemn them.

The heads of the mission had convened a special meeting earlier in the day to look into the attacks, which have raised questions about deep-rooted racism in India. The statement asked that the Centre strongly condemn the violence and “expedite legal action against the perpetrators”. The envoys also called for an independent investigation from the Human Rights Council and said a report on the action taken should be submitted to the African Union Commission.

On March 29, the Greater Noida Police booked almost 600 people for rioting and another 44 for attempt to murder in connection with the attack on the Nigerian students. Of these, seven were arrested.

The incident took place when a group of more than 100 locals held a protest at a busy junction demanding that all Africans living in residential colonies in Greater Noida be asked to vacate their rented houses immediately. The protest was organised after a Class 12 student in the area’s NSG Black Cats Enclave died of a suspected drug overdose and five Nigerian students living in the neighbourhood were booked for murder. The students were later released for lack of evidence.