India rejects charges of racism over attacks on African students

One of the Nigerian students attacked at Greater Nodia

India on Tuesday rejected charges made by a group of African envoys who termed recent attacks on African students in the country as “racial and xenophobic”.

The envoys also slammed New Delhi for inaction on the issue.

African missions in India on Monday condemned the “racial, xenophobic” attacks on their students near New Delhi and called for an international inquiry.

Mobs in Delhi’s suburbs of Noida had last week thrashed several Nigerians after a local teenager died of a suspected drug overdose.

Residents blamed some African students for plying the youth with drugs.

A statement issued by Eritrean ambassador and dean of the African group of mission heads, Alem Woldemariam, had said that India had taken “no known, sufficient and visible deterring measures” to prevent the violence.

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The envoys called for a probe by UN’s Human Rights Council into the attack.

However, Indian Foreign Ministry officials rejected the claim that African nations had spoken with one voice as a very small number of envoys were consulted for the statement issued by Woldemariam.

“It is unfortunate that a criminal act triggered following the untimely death of a young Indian student under suspicious circumstances has been termed as xenophobic and racial,” the ministry said.

It said that the local authorities had expeditiously arrested suspects, and the Indian government had also condemned and described the attack as unacceptable.

Authorities had also taken measures for the safety and security of African students and were holding meetings with local residents and students.

In New York, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the UN was not involved in the case, but it wanted the perpetrators of the attack to be brought to justice. (dpa/NAN)

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