Indians face public wrath in Congo after Congolese national bludgeoned to death in Delhi; govt rejects racism claims

According to some reports, shops owned by Indians were pelted with stones, and other forms of retaliation, prompting the local police to whisk some of them away to safety.

Last Updated: May 26, 2016, 06:56 AM IST
Indians face public wrath in Congo after Congolese national bludgeoned to death in Delhi; govt rejects racism claims

New Delhi: The Indian community living in the African nation of Democratic Republic of Congo has been the target of a massive protest over the past few days following the gruesome murder of a Congolese national in South Delhi last week.

Thousands of angry protesters have reportedly taken to the streets in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa, demanding appropriate action from their government in response to the attack in India.

Kinshasa's Indian community who are mostly shopkeepers have been the target of a massive public outcry.

According to some reports, shops owned by Indians were pelted with stones, and other forms of retaliation, prompting the local police to whisk some of them away to safety.

An amateur video of the protests in Kinshasa, which was uploaded on social media, shows an Indian shopkeeper was shutting down his shop in the presence of police officers, while a large number of people gathered outside and shouting.

The Indians have been reportedly asked to keep their shops closed till the tension ends. There are reportedly about 5,000 Indian shopkeepers in Kinhasa alone.

Last Friday, Congolese national Masonda Ketada Oliver was bludgeoned to death in Delhi's Kishangadh area during a street brawl.

The 29-year-old was returning home in South Extension from Kishangadh area near Vasant Kunj when he got into an argument with three local youths over an auto rickshaw.

Olivier suffered an agonising death after his head was smashed with a stone.

His sudden death has shocked his friends who had planned a surprise birthday bash for him the next day.

According to police, Oliver used to teach French language in a private institute.

Although the police maintain that it was a case of street fight, the victim's friend who was with Olivier and managed to escape after the fight broke out, has alleged that it was a racial attack.

Three men, allegedly drunk, came and argued over hiring the same auto rickshaw, he said.

The brutal killing was captured in a CCTV camera.

Police said one of the accused Mobin Azad Saifi (23) has been arrested, while two others - identified as Mukesh and Prakash - are absconding.

The attackers have criminal history and have been jailed in the past.

Meanwhile, the envoys of several African nations in Delhi have termed the assault as a racial attack and demanded the Indian government to guarantee the safety of Africans.

Responding to their concerns, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said that her government is committed to the safety and security of African nationals in India. She has asked the Delhi Lieutenant Governor to fast-track the case.

The government, however, said it was not a racial attack.