NEW DELHI: The African countries have condemned the inadequate action by the Government of India in taking deterring measures against perpetrators of “xenophobic and racial” attacks against African students in Greater Noida and threatened to seek an independent probe by UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
The strongly worded unanimous statement from the Heads of the African missions has come as diplomatic slap for India that has been trying to do some face-saving by refusing to categorise the attacks as racially-motivated and instead termed it “criminal” acts.
The heads of African Mission accredited to India had convened a special meeting to look into the recent attacks against African students, in Greater Noida.
Taking into account the previous spate of incidents, the diplomats concluded that “no known, sufficient, and visible deterring measures were taken by the Government of India.”
While External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had condemned the attack and assured of action against the perpetrators, there has been a political silence from the Government of Uttar Pradesh – something that the diplomats said was expected.
In a press statement issued by the Office of Dean of the African Group Head of Missions on March 31 they condemned the incident in Greater Noida where four Nigerian students were beaten up.
“The meeting unanimously agreed that those accumulated attacks against Africans are xenophobic and racial in nature,” the statement said.
Talking about their future course of action, the diplomats agreed to “call for an independent investigation by the Human Rights Council as well as other human rights bodies and also to comprehensively report the matter to the African Union Commission”.
While India has been looking towards strengthening its economic ties with the African countries, slew of violent incidents against Africans in India, reeking of racism, has been proven to be a big impediment for it.