Attack on Congolese national not racial one: VK Singh
VK Singh said the Indian community staying in Africa, particularly in Congo, "has been told that they need to be careful".
New Delhi: Terming the murder of a Congolese student in Delhi as a "one-off situation", Union minister VK Singh on Thursday refused to call it a case of racial attack even as he asked Indians staying in Africa to be careful, apprehending backlash over the incident.
He also said the government will undertake a senitisation exercise to deal with the issue.
Asserting that the government was firmly committed that such incidents "cannot be forgotten", Singh said that Lt Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung has assured that he will see to it that the case gets daily hearing to ensure speedy justice.
Singh said the envoys felt the government's actions are very sincere and that's why despite whatever was being said they were present for the Africa Day event organised by ICCR.
"The government of India condemns a heinous crime like this. It was a crime, it is not premeditated, not racial. It has nothing to do with all these things and we assure that based on MEA's immediate action that came through, we rang up the Delhi Police, we rang up the Lt Governor.
"Immediate action was taken. Two people were nabbed, one is on the run and the police has assured us that he will be nabbed soon.
"The Lt Governor has assured us that he is going to press for daily hearings so that we can finish this case as fast as possible," Singh said.
He was speaking on the sidelines of an event "India- Africa: Bound Together" organised by ICCR. Several ambassadors of African nations were also present at the event.
He said the incident was a one-off incident and not racially motivated.
"This is a one-off incident and not a racially motivated incident. I gave an example of the dentist who was killed (in Delhi). He was playing with his child. Somehow lot of things are happening in Delhi which show absolute intolerance. People are not willing to have something which is peaceful resolution. I won't go beyond that," he added.
He also said the Indian community staying in Africa, particularly in Congo, "has been told that they need to be careful".
When asked about sensitising programmes demanded by African envoys, Singh said that move has been initiated by the Indian government.
"That is what we have told. They have asked us for nothing. We have told them that we will do sensitisation. Yesterday the External Affairs Minister (Sushma Swaraj) tweeted. We will do it as per convenience of our African Heads of Missions, with then taking the administration with us, we will go around talking to people. We will assure them that there safety is our concern," he said.
"Any anger outside is natural. They have lost a child.
There would be many who feed to a larger number of people. You have demagogues everywhere," Singh said.
"The commitment of India is that we do not look at these incidents as something which can be forgotten. We want to look at it as an incident that sternly needs to be taken a note of and acted upon," he said.
When asked whether the fear in the African community is legitimate, he said if anything happens to any community they are bound to feel threaten.
"The fear is always that it is directed against the community. That's not so. What happened in Bengaluru, we took immediate action. There are people who have different mindsets in society."
The minister said the government was concerned over the attacks and added that by and large India is welcome and safe and can be relied upon.
"India is home to African students for a long time. There are large number of students who have risen in the ranks of their country. Some are Presidents today. We value that kind of relationship," he said.