Bengaluru: A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member is one of the five suspects arrested for assaulting a Tanzanian woman.
Lokesh Bangari is a sitting member of the Chikkabanavara Gram Panchayat, reports the Hindustan Times.
The daily quoted Bangari's colleague and a member of the same panchayat, Kabeer Ahmed, as saying: “His ID card was lying on the road where the attack happened. He was an innocent bystander and actually wanted to help the victims but the crowd was too angry and strong. In the mêlée, he lost his wallet and ID cards.”
Ahmed, who claimed to be on the spot when the incident took place, added, “It is true that the woman was stripped. It was wrong. But people were angry.”
Amidst the outrage over the alleged assault and stripping of a 21-year-old Tanzanian woman, the Karnataka government had on Thursday denied that she was paraded naked.
Besides Bangari, Banu Prakash, Rahamatullah, Venkatesh and Salim Pasha were arrested by the Bengaluru Police.
In a case of mistaken identity, an angry mob assaulted the Tanzanian woman, suspecting her to be a friend of a Sudanese student whose car ran over a woman pedestrian on Sunday night.
Mohammad Ahad Ismail, 20, in a case of drunken driving fatally ran his car Shabana Taz, 35, and injured her husband K Sanaullah.
Angry at Shabana's death in the mishap caused by a Sudanese, another violent mob mistakenly targetted the Tanzanian woman and burnt her WagonR car in which she was with three male friends and passing through the area, assuming her to be Ismail's friend.
The Sudanese national, an MBA student, who caused the mishap, was later arrested for drunken driving and causing Shabana's death. The mob attacked him before police came and rescued him on Sunday night.
A high-level team from New Delhi, including the Tanzanian high commissioner to India, will leave for Bengaluru on Friday in connection with the assault on a Tanzanian woman in the Karnataka capital.
About 12,000 students of various countries are studying in colleges across the city and there are around 5,000 African students in India.