Incidents relating to Africans unfortute, painful: Sushma
New Delhi, May 31: Describing a series of incidents involving members of the African community as unfortute and painful, Exterl Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday assured a delegation of African students of full security and support in India.
“I assure our African friends that institutiol mechanisms would be put in place to ensure that such incidents do not recur in future. India will continue to remain a country where they will always feel welcome,” Sushma Swaraj said after meeting a delegation of African students.
“The recent incidents relating to members of the African community are not only very unfortute, but also very painful,” said Sushma, who has been persolly monitoring the outreach to the African community.
“As a mother, I can understand the pain of a mother who loses a son on foreign soil. It would be a traumatic experience,” she said.
Sushma Swaraj, who met the African delegation at the exterl affairs ministry at Jawahar Bhawan here, also condemned the killing of Congolese tiol M.K. Olivier on May 20 in New Delhi, but said it was not a racial attack.
“All crimil acts should not be construed as racial attacks,” she stated.
“As the CCTV footage of the incident in question showed, this was an act committed by goons who also thrashed the Indian bystanders who had attempted to intervene to save Olivier.”
She said Delhi Police immediately swung into action after the incident and two of the perpetrators of the crime have already been apprehended, while a search was on for the third person.
She said that her ministry, on hearing about the incidents involving members of the African community, proactively reached out to the African diplomatic community and the African student community.
The killing of the Congolese tiol and a string of other attacks on Africans staying in New Delhi, and a case of assault in Hyderabad has caused widespread anger among the community. A group of African students held a protest at Jantar Mantar on Monday.
“I persolly monitored the situation and spoke to Lieutent Governor of Delhi jeeb Jung and requested him to have the case investigated on a fast track basis,” Sushma Swaraj told the delegation at the meeting.
“I also spoke to Home Minister Rajth Singh and he has given instructions for police patrolling to be increased in areas where a sizeable African community resides,” she said.
She also stated that Minister of State for Exterl Affairs V.K. Singh has also met members of the African diplomatic community and has assured them of the government’s full support on this issue.
“The minister of state will hold meetings with the African community in all major metros where they reside,” Sushma Swaraj said, adding that Singh would be accompanied by Amar Sinha, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of Exterl Affairs, and police commissioners of these cities.
“We will also carry out a sensitisation campaign.”
She said India’s historical relations with Africa rested “on the foundation of brotherhood and solidarity and we should not allow such incidents to deflect from our historical friendship and close development partnership with Africa”. (IANS)