Foreign secretary meets African students

Foreign secretary meets African students; assures safety, security

New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar on Monday met a group of African students here and assured them of the safety and security of the community in India after a string of attacks on African nationals in India.

“Continuing outreach to African community. Foreign secretary meets a group of African students,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

“Foreign secretary to students: Ensuring safety and security of foreign students is an article of faith for us,” he added.

The meeting between Jaishankar and the students came even as several African students staged a protest at Jantar Mantar here against increasing attacks on them and demanded that the Indian government act swiftly to stop such incidents.

“We want the government’s support as the incidents of attacks on people from African continent are increasing in the city. The Indian government needs to ensure safety of African nationals and act swiftly on such incidents,” said a protestor at Jantar Mantar.

On Monday, the family member of a Congolese national, M.K. Olivier, who was killed on May 20 over a minor altercation arrived in India to take back the mortal remains. They were met at the airport by a senior external affairs ministry official.

The spate of rising attacks on African nationals has caused outrage among the community, several thousands of who study in India. The African envoys had last week threatened to boycott the Africa Day event over the murder of Congolese national Olivier.

The Indian government stepped in to assure the African envoys of the safety and security of their nationals after which the envoys attended the May 26 event.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is personally monitoring the outreach to the Africans.

But some more incidents of attacks on African nationals have taken place, which the police termed as non-racial in nature.

On May 25, a Nigerian student in Hyderabad was allegedly beaten by an Indian over a parking dispute.

On May 28, four separate cases of alleged assault on African nationals in the national capital was reported.

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