Tanzanian envoy, MEA officials head to Bengaluru

RSTV Bureau
Bengaluru : Students from different colleges hold placards and Candles during a protest against the attack on a Tanzanian Girl by a mob in Bengaluru on Thursday. PTI Photo

Bengaluru : Students from different colleges hold placards and Candles during a protest against the attack on a Tanzanian Girl by a mob in Bengaluru on Thursday. PTI Photo

A day after 5 people were arrested in the case where a Tanzanian woman was assaulted in Bengaluru, a team comprising of the Tanzanian High Commissioner and senior MEA officials are travelling to Bengaluru in connection with the case. It is alleged that a Tanzanian woman was assaulted, stripped and paraded in the city on January 31.

The diplomatic row between India and the African country refuses to die down as the Tanzanian High Commissioner John Kijazi, who is a part of the delegation, alleged that the woman was attacked because she is black.

“This should not happen in the 21st century. It’s not a once in a while event, they come several times in a year,” Kijazi said on Thursday.

Kijazi’s statement came on the same day the Karnataka government denied all reports that called it a racist attack. Not just that, the state government also denied that the woman was stripped and paraded by a mob. Instead, it called it an incident of road rage.

“No such thing happened”. It was “definitely not a race attack,” said Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara refuting news reports on Thursday.

Amid rising outrage, the Centre also took cognizance of the issue and sought a report from the Siddaramaiah government. The Home Ministry asked for detailed report about the circumstances that led to the assault and what action was being taken against the accused. The Centre also wanted to know the steps taken by the state to protect the victim.

So far, five people have been arrested in connection with the incident.

“Case has been registered, five of them (accused) have been arrested. Sushma Swaraj also spoke to me, I will also be sending her a report through my Chief Secretary,” Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah told reporters in Bengaluru on Thursday.

According to reports, a 21-year-old Tanzanian student was allegedly beaten up and stripped by a mob in a case of “mistaken identity” after another woman was mowed down by a car in the city. The student was reportedly dragged out of the car when she reached the accident spot.

A mob mistook her for a Sudanese woman who was responsible for the accident, the police said.

The incident which took place on Sunday night took a serious diplomatic turn when External Affairs Minister called it a “shameful incident” and assured the Tanzanian authorities that all steps were being taken to protect African students in the state.

Tanzanian High Commissioner John WH Kijazi said he had sent a complaint to the government and sought prompt action against those behind the “unfortunate” incident.

“We request the Government of India to ensure safety and security of our students in Bengaluru and all other places in India,” Kijazi had said.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also sought a report from the Karnataka government even as CM Siddaramaiah faced flak.

(With inputs from PTI)