The Centre on Monday once again reassured the students from Africa, stating that protecting the foreign citizens studying in India was “an article of faith” for it.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar met some students from Africa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Bhavan — the headquarters of the Ministry of External Affairs — on Monday. He sought to reassure them, as the government continued its damage-control exercise in the wake of the recent spurt in attacks on African nationals in India.
“Ensuring safety and security of foreign students is an article of faith for us,” Vikas Swarup, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, quoted the foreign secretary telling the students. Swarup also posted pictures of Jaishankar and students from Africa on Twitter.
“Whatever we had to convey, we have done that on Africa Day. Now, it is up to the Indian government to take action on the assurances given to us,” Dean of African Group Head of Missions and Ambassador of Eritrea Alem Tsehage Woldemariam said when asked if the group would again raise with India the issue of fresh attacks against African nationals.
After the killing of Oliver, Woldemariam had last week issued a strongly-worded statement seeking stringent action to guarantee safety of Africans in India.
The cousins of Masunda Kitada Oliver, a national of Democratic Republic of Congo, who was killed at Vasant Kunj in Delhi on May 20, arrived here to take back his mortal remains.
Birender Yadav, Joint Secretary (West Africa) in the MEA, met Oliver’s cousins and conveyed “heartfelt condolences”. One of the victim’s brothers talked to journalists and expressed disappointment over lack of security for African students studying in India.
Meanwhile, some African students staged a protest at Jantar Mantar here demanding that the Government of India ensure safety of the students from the continent and act promptly on such incidents.