NEW DELHI: Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Thursday condemned the incident involving a 21-year-old Tanzanian student in Bengaluru and urged the people of India to remember their colonial past and gain sensitivity towards racial discrimination.
“Whenever such an incident happens, the first thing to do is condemn the attack and not defend it. Whether racist attack or not, whether stripped or not these are matters to be investigated by the officials when they are asked to do it. Police is supposed to act suo moto in such kinds of serious incidents. We should not jump on defending the case whether it is racial discrimination or not. But an incident related to the woman is in itself a serious matter. So, there is no question of defending it,” he said.
“Secondly, during the British rule, our country has seen and faced how we were discriminated on the basis of racial profile. Lot of Indians did face racial abuse in foreign countries. So, we should be very careful as we were victims of it. So, any kind of racial abuse or any kind of discrimination on racial lines has to be taken up with all seriousness,” he added.
He also said that the government has not yet been briefed officially and he was yet to receive the details of the report.
“Whatever has come from the media, and the Foreign Minister has also reacted, it seems that the incident was serious and to what extent and what happened is a matter of enquiry, but the incident itself is serious, whatever may be the course,” he said.
The High Commission of Tanzania has sent a Note Verbale about reported attacks on African students in Bangalore. The Note Verbale requests the Government of India to follow up on this matter and take necessary legal action against those involved in such attacks and to ensure safety and security of all African students in India.
Meanwhile, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has asked the Karnataka Government for explanation and has asked for a report immediately.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had also condemned the attack on the Tanzanian student and asked for stringent punishment for the guilty.
With pressure mounting on the government to take strict action against those responsible for the assault the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) asked the Karnataka Government to submit a report on the unfortunate incident.
Tanzanian High Commissioner to India John Kijazi had earlier told ANI that they wanted the police to take strict action and arrest all the culprits.
He also said that the High Commission has written to the Indian Government, which in turn, has assured them of action.
Earlier today, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that he has spoken to the External Affairs Minister and given her a factual report.