India condemns harassment of Africans

The Union government on Saturday condemned the recent harassment of four Ugandan and Nigerian women in the national capital by a mob led by the Aam Aadmi Party leader and Law Minister of Delhi, Somnath Bharti.

The Ministry of External Affairs assured the African nations’ envoys to India of “appropriate action”.

Dinkar Khullar, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, had a meeting with the envoys of all the African nations to India in South Block. He conveyed to them the view of the Government of India that the incident was “utterly condemnable” and could not be condoned.

Two Ugandan and two Nigerian women were returning to their rented accommodations in Khirki Extension in South Delhi late at night on Wednesday, when they were accosted by a mob allegedly led by Bharti. They were accused of prostitution and narcotics trafficking and were detained for hours.

Two women were also allegedly forced to give urine samples in public for tests for drugs. Tests, however, found no evidence of use of narcotics. Other Africans, living in Khirki Extension, too alleged thatthe mob stormed into their rented accommodation and even hurled racist abuses.

The African women lodged complaints in the Malviya Nagar Police Station on Friday.
The MEA’s move to convene a meeting of all African envoys on Saturday came amid a stand-off between the AAP Government in Delhi and the Centre. Arvind Kejriwal, chief minister of the National Capital Territory, endorsed the raid conducted by his law minister along with a vigilante mob at the Khirki Extension in south Delhi.

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