Bengaluru: The Karnataka government on Thursday said that it was seriously probing the brutal assault on a Tanzanian student while assuring full safety of foreign students staying in the state capital.
Addressing a press conference, G Parmeshwara, Karnataka Home Minister said, ''We are taking this case very seriously,'' adding, ''There are 12,000 foreign students in Bengaluru, their protection is our foremost duty. These kind of incidents should not happen.''
Explaining the sequence of events that led to the brutal assault on the African student, Parmeshwara said, ''Had the Sudanese man not killed someone in the accident maybe this incident would not have happened.''
A man called Sanaullah and his wife were hit by a car driven by a Sudanese national identified as Mohd Ismail, who was under influence of liquor. The woman died on the spot after which an infuriated mob set the car on fire and went on rampage, he informed.
Rejecting allegations of laxity on part of local police, Parmeshwara said, ''The cops registered the case at that time itself.''
"We have formed special teams to trap the culprits and render justice to the victim who declined to file complaint against the accused fearing attack again,'' he stated.
Some more arrests are going to be made depending on enquiry. The case has been transferred to Central Crime Branch for investigation, he added.
However, he maintained that it was not a racist attack, saying ''this is just a response to an accident. Bengaluru doesn't have such kind of attitude.''
"The allegations that her clothes were torn off and they were paraded naked have not been verified as per the investigation so far," he added.
The DGP and Commissioner also went to spot today and spoke to affected students and assured all help to them, he informed. Parmeshwara further stressed that there are times when foreign students stay even after their passports get expired and, therefore, they are going to pursue such cases.
The Home Ministry also sought a detailed report from the Karnataka government on the incident.
Five suspects have been arrested by police in this connection and they are being interrogated. We have duly apprised the MEA about the progress in the case, Parmeshwara said.
Meanwhile, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today asked the Karnataka government to explain the incident and send the report immediately.
The BJP today dubbed the reaction of Rahul Gandhi on Tanzanian student assault as a 'political stunt', saying that the former is seeking report from Karnataka Chief Minister only after seeing media reports on the issue.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had yesterday condemned the attack on the Tanzanian student and asked for stringent punishment for the guilty.
The Tanzanian student was beaten and then stripped by a group of locals in Bengaluru after they assumed she was part of an incident in which a Sudanese man had run over a local woman.
The incident took place on Hesaraghatta Road in Bengaluru on Saturday night after a Sudanese national ran his car over a 35-year-old woman resulting in on the spot death of the woman.
The Tanzanian student was travelling in another car, a Wagon-R, along with four others. The young woman, who arrived on the spot around 30 minutes later, was dragged out of the car and paraded naked after being stripped by the mob.
The victim told the police in her complaint that when she tried to get on a bus in order to escape the assault, people on the bus pushed her back towards the mob.
Earlier, the local residents set fire to two cars belonging to the African students, who studied in local colleges in Ganapathinagar on Hesaraghatta Road.
With PTI inputs