4 Africans injured in Mehrauli mob attack

4 Africans injured in Mehrauli mob attack

4 Africans injured in Mehrauli mob attack
At least 4 Africans were attacked by a local mob with bricks, bats and iron rods in an urban village in south Delhi’s Mehrauli area on Thursday night. Two of them needed medical treatment.

The mob targeted them as they passed through the same lane, at different time during a half-hour period in Rajpur Khurd village. The attacks come six days after a Congolese French language teacher was bludgeoned to death on a south Delhi street. “None of the African nationals agreed to give a complaint. However, the local police acting on their own have registered criminal cases,” said a senior police officer.

The victims told DH that racist slurs were hurled at them, but police denied any racist angle. “The accused involved in the incidents have been identified and efforts are on to arrest them soon,” said a senior police officer. The victims charged that their attackers told them to “go back to Africa”.  They also used slurs like ‘habshi’.

One of the victims is Kenneth, 27, a Nigerian who sings gospels at a local church.
He told DH that around 10.45 pm, he was returning home from a church meeting with his wife and their 4 month-old-son in his car when a mob of local residents blocked his path. “As I was driving back home, a group of 15-20 people with iron rods, bricks and cricket bats in their hands asked me to stop the car,” said Kenneth.

As he stopped a few metres away from the group, the men shouted: “You African baba come down,” asking him to get out of the car.

Kenneth initially didn’t open the car door, but then they started banging on it. One of them hit the back windshield with a heavy object. The moment Kenneth stepped out, he was hit with an iron rod on the shoulder and the face. “The mob attacked every African who passed through the lane between 10.30 pm to 11 pm.

We asked help from the locals, but no one came forward,” Shamira, another victim who is an Ugandan national, told DH. “I was also beaten up in the melee. However I told them that I was also an Indian and spoke to them in Hindi. They let me go, but chased Shamira,” said Sonia, Shamira’s friend.

Police said the reason for Thursday’s attacks is not clear.