Attacks ‘racial’, India took no steps: African envoys

New Delhi: Denouncing at­tacks on African nationals as “xenophobic and racial” in na­ture, heads of African missions in India have hit out at the government, saying it took no “known, sufficient and visible” deterrent action.
In a strongly-worded press re­lease, the envoys, who recently held a “special” meeting on the incidents, agreed to call for an independent investigation by the Human Rights Council as well as other human rights bod­ies, and also to comprehensively report the matter to the Com­mission of the African Union.
They said they expected a strong condemnation of the at­tacks at the highest political level, both nationally and local­ly, indicating their disappoint­ment over lack of response from the prime minister and Uttar Pradesh chief minister, it said.
The press release dated March 31 from the office of the Dean of the African Group Head of the Missions here said the meeting was convened to look into the recent attacks against African students in Greater Noida.
“The meeting unanimously agreed that those accumulated attacks against Africans are xe­nophobic and racial in nature,” they said.
The envoys reviewed the in­cidents that have taken place in the past and concluded that no “known, sufficient and visible” deterrent measures were taken by the Indian government, it said.
Condemning the attacks, they expressed their deep concern and noted that these “reprehensible events, both out­standing and unresolved cases against Africans, were not suf­ficiently condemned by the In­dian authorities”.
There are missions of more than 50 African countries which are accredited to India. Four Nigerian students were attacked by a group of Greater Noida residents who took out a candle light march on March 26 after a 17-year-old boy Man­ish died due to suspected drug overdose.
The protest march was tak­en out after the police released some Nigerians detained for questioning in connection with death of Manish, a class 12 stu­dent, due to “lack of evidence”.