Government in touch with Nigerian mission over attacks

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) Condemning the attacks on Nigerians in Greater Noida earlier this week, a senior official on Thursday said that the government is in touch with the Nigerian High Commission here in this connection.

"It is clear that such criminal acts are completely unacceptable and have been condemned," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said in his weekly media briefing here.

"We are engaged with the concerned authorities as well as the students," he said.

The spokesperson said that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has spoken to Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath about this while Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar spoke to the Acting High Commissioner of Nigeria.

"Law enforcement authorities of the district have made arrests and a large number of people are under watch. The investigation is on and the law of the land will prevail," he stated.

The attack on Nigerian students took place on Monday night in Greater Noida, some 40 km from the Indian capital, following protests over the death of a Class 12 student of a residential colony there due to drug overdose. Some people who were holding a candle-light vigil for the student attacked the Nigerians suspecting them of drug running.

Five people were arrested for the attacks.

Baglay also said that the External Affairs Ministry was in touch with the district administration of Gautam Buddha Nagar which has enhanced the security in the area immediately and made it 24 by 7 for the time being.

He said that on March 28, the District Magistrate held a meeting of the residents and foreign students' associations in the presence of the representatives from the Nigerian High Commission in New Delhi.

"We are in touch with the Nigerian High Commission in New Delhi. The students who were hurt during the incident have been treated in a local hospital and have already been released."

The spokesperson said incidents like this "represent the action of uninformed and misguide few".

"They do not detract from the deep belief of the government and the people of India of Vasudeva Kutumbakam," he stated.

"We will continue to welcome African people including students and youth as valuable partners," Baglay said, adding that India's engagement with Africa would continue to grow.