Murder Of Congolese Youth Leads To Outcry By African Community; Swaraj Ensures Justice

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3:01 pm 25 May, 2016


Amid an outcry by African community over the brutal murder of a Congolese youth in South Delhi’s Vasant Kunj on May 20, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has stepped in and said that immediate action will be taken against the culprits.

Sushma Swaraj at a press conference indiawrites

Sushma Swaraj at a press conference indiawrites

She tweeted:

Reportedly, African envoys have in a letter have asked the government to put off “Africa Day” celebrations beginning May 25, saying that India must solve the problem of “racism and Afro-phobia” first.

Masonda Ketanda Olivier indianexpress

Masonda Ketanda Olivier indianexpress

The African Group of Heads of Mission declared that it would not join the May 25 Africa Day celebrations, in solidarity with the slain Congolese youth.

The crime site where Congolese youth was murdered indianexpress

The crime site where Congolese youth was murdered indianexpress

A sensitisation program will be launched to reiterate that such incidents against foreign nationals embarrass the country, she said.

Masonda Ketada Olivier, a French language teacher, got into an argument with three intoxicated men over hiring of an auto-rickshaw. The argument later led to a fight after which the African youth was chased and beaten with sticks and stones. The incident happened on May 20 at around 11 pm near Kishangarh village of Vasant Kunj area.

African students in India timesofafrica

African students in India timesofafrica

On May 21, the Delhi Police detained one person in connection with the murder case.

The police have launched a probe into the matter and are trying to ascertain whether the attack was racially motivated, a fight turning ugly, a robbery attempt or a case of personal enmity.

Earlier this year, a 21-year old Tanzanian student in Bengaluru complained to the police that she was dragged out of a car by a mob that beat her up, molested and stripped her.

These incidents are shocking but not entirely surprising.

According to an African student in Phagwara, Punjab, “The policemen harass us in the name of checking bike papers. In the market too, if we are roaming with girls, they pass sarcastic comments. They call us names and treat us as if we were running some crime rackets.”

African students demonstrating against discrimination at a protest in New Delhi nytimes

African students demonstrating against discrimination at a protest in New Delhi nytimes

There are more than 2,000 African students residing in Jalandhar and Phagwara. And even the Punjab Police refers to them as ‘kaale’ (blacks) in the FIRs of petty or big crimes registered against them.

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