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Fed Govt condemns attacks on Nigerians in India

By The Citizen
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The Nigerian Government has condemned the inhuman and racist-motivated attacks by Indian nationals against Nigerian citizens residing in that country.

The Permanent Secretary of Nigeria's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Shola Enikanolaiye made the position of Nigeria known on Wednesday, while briefing journalists in Abuja.

He said that Nigeria was shocked and surprised at the reprehensible and violent attacks on Nigerians by Indian nationals despite the cordial relations and strong economic ties existing between the two countries.

'The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to the brutal and violent attacks meted on some Nigerian students in Pari Chwok area of Greater Noida, Utter Pradesh, on 27th March, 2017 by irate and mindless Indian mob comprising over three hundred people,' he said.

'The mob, armed with sticks and iron rods indiscriminately attacked any one identified as a Nigerian citizen in the area. As a result, nine Nigerians sustained injuries to the heads, chest and limbs,'  Mr Enikanolaiye noted.

The Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs added that this was not the first time such attacks had taken place in India against Nigerians and called for an urgent intervention by the authorities in India to be proactive as well as take the necessary measures to arrest and prosecute the culprits which will serve as deterrents against future attacks.

He decried that the state of negligence on the part of Nigerians increased the racist-motivated attacks by the Indian nationals.

'Surprisingly, no one came to the aid of these innocent Nigerians in spite of the fact that these attacks occurred in public places including a mall. However, latest report from our mission in Delhi, indicated that the victims have received proper medical attention and three of them will be discharged from hospital by tomorrow,' he said.

According to reports from the Nigerian High Commission in New Delhi, India, the attacks started after a 16 year old Indian by the name, Manish Khatri, died of drug over-dose in a compound where some Nigerian students reside.

It was alleged that the deceased Indian boy's death was masterminded by those Nigerians who live in the compound which led to the breakout of the riots.

The Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Nagabushana Reddy who was also at the briefing said his country has condemned the attacks and described it as deplorable.

He said that the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Mrs Sushma Swaraj has already demanded for an official report from the Chief Minister of Utter Pradesh where the incident took place which resulted in attacks on Nigerian citizens.

'The External Affairs Minister has spoken to the Chief Minister of Utter Pradesh. Law Enforcement authorities of the District have made arrest and are investigating into the matter. They are also taking necessary steps to keep the situation under control.' Mr Reddy stated.

The Indian High Commissioner has assured the Nigerian government that India is committed to ensuring safety and security of all foreigners, especially those from Africa, students and youths residing in India.

As part of its quick response, Mr Nagabushana Reddy revealed that the Law Enforcement agencies of India have arrested 5 Indian nationals said to be involved in the attacks.

Meanwhile, they are still searching for 2 other suspects involved in the incident.

'Over 300 people living in the area have been kept under watch, and the Law Enforcement agencies are closely monitoring the activities of these individuals.' Mr Reddy stated.

The Indian High Commissioner assured the Nigerian Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary that the State of Utter Pradesh of India will continue to monitor the situation and the authorities are determined to bring all perpetrators of the deplorable attacks on Nigerian nationals to justice.

Mr Enikanolaiye promised the High Commissioner that Nigeria was going to monitor the events and how India intends to approach this current issue in order to guard against future occurrence. - VON.