India’s top diplomat meets African students, assures safety & security

FS with African students

With a series of high-profile visits from India to Africa in the offing, the Indian government is leaving no stone unturned to contain the damage caused by attacks on African nationals in the country, to India’s diplomatic outreach to the continent. The country’s top diplomat, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar met a group of African students in New Delhi on May 30 and assured them of their security in India. There are nearly 20,000 African students studying in India.

African students in India were outraged after a 29-year-old man from Congo was allegedly assaulted and beaten to death by three men in south Delhi following an argument. With African envoys tossing charges of Afrophobia and racist bias, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is personally monitoring the outreach to the Africans and has assured swift action against culprits and a sensitisation programme.

“Continuing outreach to African community. Foreign secretary meets a group of African students,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said. “Foreign secretary to students: Ensuring safety and security of foreign students is an article of faith for us,” he added.

Mr Jaishankar’s move comes in the backdrop of several African protesting at the iconic observatory in the heart of New Delhi.

A Nigerian student in Hyderabad was allegedly beaten up over a parking dispute and four separate cases of alleged assault on African nationals in the national capital were reported three days later. However, the police say some of these incidents are non-racial in nature.

“We want the government’s support as the incidents of attacks on people from African continent are increasing in the city. The Indian government needs to ensure safety of African nationals and act swiftly on such incidents,” an unnamed protester at Jantar Mantar said.

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