BENGALURU: Friends of the Tanzanian girl who was allegedly stripped and attacked by a mob on Sunday confirmed that it was a case of misdirected anger and that the student's clothes were indeed ripped off by the mob.
Karnataka home minister has denied that the girl was stripped, while India's external affairs minister has said that it was a shameful incident.
Speaking to a local news channel in Bengaluru, a friend of the Tanzanian victim, said that she was out on a drive with a fellow student near Chikkabanavara in north Bangalore on the evening of Jan. 31 and happened to pass the spot where a car, allegedly driven by a Sudanese man, had run over and killed a woman a while earlier.
A mob had collected at the spot and were beating up some Sudanese nationals black and blue. The Tanzanian girl and a fellow student of a city college stopped the car to enquire.
The local people were incensed by the accident, allegedly caused by an inebriated Sudanese man named Mohammad Ahad. They took it upon themselves to teach the man and his friends a lesson. They torched Ahad’s car and beat him up and other Sudanese students.
Just then, the two Tanzanian victims came by in a car. Finding the Sudanese students in a bad shape, they stopped to help.
"My friends got out of the car to help and were mistaken to be Sudanese too. The mob turned upon them and they were beaten up badly. They tore of my female friend's top", said a friend of the victims.
"The mob assumed that my friends were Sudanese just because of the colour of the skin," he said.
Reports said the Tanzanian victim tried to get on a bus to escape the assault, but people in the bus just pushed her down, only to be set upon by the mob again.
The girl was just left bare minimum clothes, her friend told a TV channel.
The incident came to light only two days later. The girl approached the Soladevanahalli and Peenya police but was turned away. It was only when the girl's support group took her to the Alternative Legal Forum and the incident threatened to become a legal issue that the police finally relented.