Five arrested in African national assault case and new case registered

New Delhi: Five persons were arrested and one fresh case was registered on Sunday in connection with the alleged assault on some African nationals in south Delhi’s Mehrauli area in which at least six persons were injured.

Those arrested have been identified as Babu (32), Om Prakash (24), Rahul (24), Ajay (25) and Kunal (20). Three more persons have been identified and the police are looking out for them, DCP (south) Ishwar Singh said.

Kunal was earlier suspected to be a minor and his actual age was verified after scanning several documents, a senior official said.

Meanwhile, a fresh case in the matter was registered on Sunday in connection with the alleged physical assault of a brother-sister duo from Cameroon around the same time in the area.

The police had earlier registered three separate cases of causing hurt, wrongful restraint and criminal intimidation.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The arrests were made in connection will all four cases taken together.

While some of the accused persons are residents of Maidan Garhi, the others are from Rajpur Khurd, police said.

Police intensified the probe today after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj took up the issue with Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung.

African nationals in the area have planned a demonstration at Jantar Mantar on Tuesday to protest against the attacks and the killing of a 23-year-old Congolese man in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj area last week.

The incidents of attack took place between 10 PM and 11.30 PM on Thursday night within an area less than half a kilometre.

Police have claimed the attacks were not planned and coordinated and not racial in nature.

While the victims alleged that they were racially abused and attacked with bats and rods by small mobs, police denied the allegations attributing two of the incidents to disputes over African nationals playing loud music and the other to a scuffle over public drinking.

During investigation it emerged that the first incident took place when a man was heading to a hospital with his ailing mother in his car and got stuck in a congested lane. Ahead of him was an African man in his car who was playing music loudly. When the former asked the African person to lower the volume and let his car pass, he refused citing a congested road ahead of him. Following this, an argument broke out between the African man and some locals.

Meanwhile, another African man, who sustained severe injury on his nose, was passing by in an autorickshaw and he intervened. The argument soon led to a scuffle and they were beaten up.

However, the police are still trying to join the dots to ascertain how the other incidents took place around the same time in such close proximity.

The victims in Thursday’s incidents included two Nigerian men, a Ugandan woman, a South African woman, a Cameroonian man and his sister.

The police claimed none of the victims had approached them for lodging complaint which they registered on their own taking consideration the sensitivity of the matter.

Police also claimed that barring a Nigerian man nobody sustained any injury.

Since Saturday, police have held several meetings with various resident associations in the area.

Addressing one such gathering, DCP Ishwar said, "They have come to our country, they are our guests and friends. They have come here just because they trust us.

"The way you behave with them will have repercussions on our brothers living outside. An example is the way Indians were attacked after the murder of a Congolese youth," he said.

Updated Date: May 30, 2016 08:56 AM

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