Nigeria summons Indian envoy over attacks on students

Indo Asian News Service

Abuja/New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) Nigeria has summoned the Indian envoy in Abuja to express displeasure over the attacks on Nigerian students in India and voiced concern that the incident was not the first of its kind, the country's Foreign Office said.

Sola Enikanolaiye, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nigeria, summoned Indian High Commissioner Nagabushana Reddy, on Wednesday in Abuja.

"I have just finished a meeting with the Indian High Commissioner where I expressed Nigeria's displeasure with the attacks on Nigerians," Enikanolaiye tweeted.

He said the Indian High Commissioner "informed of concrete steps taken" by the Indian government to address the incident and also promised justice.

Enikanolaiye said that the Indian High Commissioner was invited to register the Nigerian government's concern over the incident. "It is therefore, a concern to us that Nigerian students in that place were harassed, beaten up and many of them were seriously injured," he said.

"We think this should not have happened considering the excellent relationship between two of us — the two countries have things in common and have been great friends."

According to him, the concern of the ministry is that such a matter should not be allowed to affect the relationship between the two countries, Today reported.

He expressed concern that the incident was not the first of its kind. "This is not the first time this would happen; Nigerians have suffered similar attack in the past; so, what we will like to see on this occasion is that the perpetrator should be arrested. "And we want to see diligent prosecution so that it would serve as a deterrent to those who think they can take laws into their hands and harass students who are going about their studies.

"That is why we felt we should register our concern to you on this occasion, and to please ask your government to take effective measures that this does not occur again," he conveyed to the Indian envoy.

The attacks on Nigerian student 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.

India's External Affairs Ministry has condemned the attacks and said India is committed to the safety of foreigners in the country.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj too spoke to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Aditya Nath Yogi on the issue.

Amnesty International in Nigeria said in a Twitter post: "On March 27, four Nigerian men were beaten up by locals. Why would people face such terror because of the colour of their skin?."

It demanded that authorities in India's Uttar Pradesh state "must bring to justice those responsible of racist attacks on Black African Students".

"Living in India must not become a life-threatening issue for black people," it said.

--IANS

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