Bengaluru: Union Law Minister Sadananda Gowda on Friday asked the Karnataka government to form a special squad to keep a watch on foreign students, in the wake of an alleged assault and stripping of a Tanzanian woman here. Attacking the Congress-led state government for not acting on locals' complaint regarding the "wrong" behaviour of certain foreign students, Gowda sought the Central government's intervention to find the truth about the assault on Sunday night.
He also said that innocent people should not be arrested as was being alleged by the locals.
"If state government cannot control law and order situation then it will lead much bigger problem in the days to come. I urge upon the government to constitute a special squad to monitor foreign students," Gowda said. Speaking to reporters after visiting the family of a woman who was mowed down by a car driven by a Sudanese here, which led to the Tanzanian student being attacked, he said, "I have come to know that more than thousands of students are staying here and functioning even after their visa having expired."
Holding the state government responsible for the death of the woman, Gowda said government and authorities should have kept a watch on the earlier developments and taken adequate law and order measures.
He also demanded compensation of Rs 25 lakh for the family of the victim, pointing out that two children have lost their mother.
A Tanzanian woman student was allegedly beaten up and stripped by a mob in a case of "mistaken identity" after the 35-year old woman was mowed down by a car on Sunday night. The incident has taken a serious diplomatic turn. A team including the Tanzanian High Commissioner, who is also the Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps, is presently visiting Bengaluru.
The team also includes joint secretary (states), director for Eastern and Southern Africa in the Ministry of External Affairs and the regional director of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). The Tanzanian woman was reportedly dragged out of the car in which she was seated along with her three friends when she reached the accident spot mistaking them to have caused the fatal accident though a Sudanese was involved in it. City police have so far arrested nine persons in connection with this case.
Gowda said that the behaviour of a section of foreign students have been brought to the notice of the police by locals, but they have failed to act on the complaints. He said that these students were indulging in illegal activities and it was "intolerable". Stating that innocent people should not be arrested, Gowda said, "I have received several complaints since yesterday that police are visiting houses of our karyakartas (workers) and harassing them saying they will be arrested."
He said Central government should intervene and find out the truth as state government is inactive.
As Gowda was returning after meeting the family, he was gheraoed by locals who complained that innocent people have been arrested in the case, and that they should be let off. One of the family members of the arrested fainted infront of the minister. "Police who were on the spot know what had happened that day. This college has been here for last twenty years, there has been no single incident where any student was harassed so far. How much inconvenience we are facing is there in police records," a local said.
Another resident said, "Is there no value to our lives that is there for foreigners;....people who are arrested are good, they are not the sort of people who can misbehave with a woman."
"Our children can't prepare for exams, they (foreigners) always keep shouting after getting drunk. People who are here are being tortured by them...." a woman alleged.