Swaraj meets African students, says attack was not racially motivated

Condemning the murder of the Congolese national Masunda Kitada Oliver in Delhi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday said in a media briefing that the attack was not racially motivated and it should not be seen in that context.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. CNN News18

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. CNN News18

The External Affairs Minister met the delegation of African students in Delhi on Tuesday. Swaraj said, "The incident is not only unfortunate but painful. Being a mother I can understand the pain of Oliver's parents who lost their son on a foreign soil."

Oliver, 29, was allegedly beaten to death by a group of men in south Delhi's Vasant Kunj area, on 20 May. The incident took place around 11.45 pm  on Friday when Oliver had a heated argument with a group of three people at Kishangadh locality in Vasant Kunj.

Following the altercation, the group pounced on Oliver, and as he tried to escape, they chased him for around 20-25 metres and attacked him again with stones.

Oliver was rescued by another group of locals present at the spot and called up police. He was rushed to a hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Swaraj assured that a thorough probe will be initiated into the case and said: "We have chalked out a plan as per which, our ministers will visit every metro city and hold discussions with African students. We will initiate awareness and sensitisation in areas with maximum population of African students,so that such incidents don't recur."

"On the day the incident took place, I sought a report from the Lt Governor and I was informed that two people have been arrested."

The killing of the Congolese national and a slew of other attacks on Africans staying in New Delhi, and a case in Hyderabad, has caused widespread anger among the community. A group of African students held a protest at Jantar Mantar on Monday.

Telangana's Director General of Police Anurag Sharma asserted that the attack on 23-year-old Nigerian student Kazeem Dami in Hyderabad last week was a clear case of dispute over car parking and had nothing to do with racism as alleged by the student. "The accused in that case was arrested for assaulting on the student (Nigerian)," the DGP said.

African envoys had last week threatened to boycott the Africa Day event over the killing of the Congolese national, but agreed to attend the 26 May event after the government intervened to assuage their concerns.

With inputs from Agencies

Updated Date: May 31, 2016 16:35 PM