Nigeria on Wednesday asked the Indian Government to ensure the immediate arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the attack on Nigerian students in an Indian university.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Olushola Enikanolaiye, made the call in Abuja at a meeting on the issue with the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amb. Nagabushana Reddy.
Four Nigerian students were attacked by a mob during a candle-light march for a 17-year-old Indian boy, who died of suspected drug overdose.
The attacking Indian mob in Utta Pradesh alleged that Nigerians masterminded the death of the boy.
Enikanolaiye said the call for the prosecution of culprits was necessary to serve as a deterrent to others and to forestall future occurrences.
He said that the High Commissioner was invited to register the Federal Government’s concern over the incident.
Enikanolaye said the boy was said to be on drugs and must have had an overdose of it, which might have led to his death in a hospital.
“It is therefore, a concern to us that Nigerian students in that place were harassed, beaten up and many of them were seriously injured.
“We think this should not have happened considering the excellent relationship between two of us — the two countries have things in common and have been great friends.”
According to him, the concern of the ministry is that such a matter should not be allowed to affect the relationship between the two countries.
He expressed concern that the incident was not the first of its kind as Indians had attacked Nigerians in the past.
“This is not the first time this would happen; Nigerians have suffered similar attack in the past; so, what we will like to see on this occasion is that the perpetrator should be arrested.
“And we want to see diligent prosecution so that it would serve as a deterrent to those who think they can take laws into their hands and harass students who are going about their studies.
“That is why we felt we should register our concern to you on this occasion, and to please ask your government to take effective measures that this does not occur again.”
In his response, the High Commissioner described the incident as deplorable.
Reddy said that the Indian Minister of External Affairs had already issued a statement condemning the incident.
Meanwhile a 24-year-old Kenyan woman was dragged out of a taxi on Wednesday and bashed by the mob, who mistook her for a Nigerian.
Coming just two days after a mob thrashed six Nigerians and a Congolese inside Greater Noida’s Ansal Plaza in Uttar Pradesh on Monday evening, the fresh attack has left most Africans in the area too afraid to step out of their houses, according to Times of India.
Maria Burendi, the Kenyan, said she left her home in Alistonia society at 6.15am to collect an African wig and some food from a friend at DPS Society.
On the way, she said 10-12 men who then beat her up stopped the cab at 6.30am near the Omicorn roundabout.
“They stopped the car and asked me to get out,” Maria told TOI over the phone.
“When the cabbie and I stepped out, they started slapping me saying that Nigerians are bad. When I said that I was a Kenyan, one of the guys asked them to stop and they relented,” she said.
“I was not expecting this. I wanted to buy some food items but could not. Later I thought I could collect my African hair wig from my friend’s place in Greater Noida. It was then that the attack took place,” she said.
However, police later in the evening said her version was doubtful. They said they nabbed the cab driver and when he was questioned, he denied any such incident happened.
Greater Noida is a town just about 30 kms from the Indian capital of New Delhi.