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India refuses to categorise attacks on Nigerians in Noida as racial

MEA says it isn't correct draw conclusions till the completion of probe

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

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Nigerian flag Image via Shutterstock

India on Thursday refused to categorise the attacks of African nationals in Greater Noida as racial and said pending the probe it is not correct to draw a conclusion on "the nature and the reason" of these acts.

On the alleged attack on a Kenyan woman on Wednesday, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said Kenyan diplomats had a meeting with officials of the ministry concerned and it has been conveyed to the Indian side that the reported incident "does not correspond with reality".

Asserting that such attacks were "completely unacceptable and have been condemned", he said the government is engaged with the authorities concerned as well as the students.

Asked if these were racial attacks, Baglay said, "Pending the investigation it is not correct to go into the nature and the reason for these particular activities." There will be a better understanding after the outcome of the probe, he said.

Four Nigerian students were attacked by a group of Greater Noida residents who took out a candle-light march after a 17-year-old boy Manish died last week in the NSG Black Cats Enclave 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 due to "lack of evidence".

Terming these acts as "the action of the uninformed and misguide few", Baglay said they do not detract from the deep belief of the government and the people of India of 'vasudevakutumbakam' (the world is one family).

"We will continue to welcome African people including students and youth as valuable partners. Our engagement with Africa, embodied among others in the implementation of the historic IAFS - III, will continue to grow," he said.

Baglay said the external affairs minister has spoken to the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar has spoken to the acting high commissioner of Nigeria.

"We are in touch with the Nigerian High Commission in New Delhi. The students who were hurt during the incident have been treated in a local hospital and have already been released," he said.

Law enforcement authorities of the district have made arrests and a large number of people are under watch, he said, adding, "The investigation is on and the law of the land will prevail."

The ministry is in touch with the district administration of Gautam Buddha Nagar, which has enhanced round-the-clock security in the area, he said.

He also noted that the district magistrate held a meeting of the residents, foreign students' associations in presence of the representatives from the Nigerian High Commission in New Delhi.

First Published: Thu, March 30 2017. 20:48 IST