Indian shops and establishments in Congo’s capital Kinshasa were attacked, in apparent backlash against the killing of a Congolese national here that had triggered outrage among African envoys.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Indian establishments were targeted on Monday and yesterday in the city’s commercial areas and Indian Mission in Kinshasa has taken up the issue with Congo’s Foreign Ministry.
“Our embassy in Congo is in touch with local authorities and, as of now, things have calmed down. India’s relations with Congo go back many years,” the MEA said.
India has promised stern punishment to the culprits after the student from Congo was fatally attacked last week.
Furious over the attack Several African missions have asked the government to take steps to ensure the safety of Africans living in India.
MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said a Note Verbale was issued to Congo’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a copy to the Ministry of Interior and the police authorities to ensure safety of life and property of all Indians residing there.
Even as India tried to control the diplomatic damage caused by the murder of Congolese student in India as African envoys attended a government-hosted Africa Day event even as some of them talked about “barbaric attacks” and “racism” against their nationals.
The Indian community in Kinshasa has had a tense week with mobs throwing stones at their businesses.
In a strongly-worded statement, the dean of the African diplomatic corps in Delhi, Alem Tsehage Woldemariam, ambassador of Eritrea, said that all the heads of missions had “met and deliberated extensively on this latest incident in the series of attacks to which members of the African community have been subjected to in the last several years” in India.
Thousands of African nationals study and work in India and routinely deal with rampant racism and discrimination in the country.
The victim in last week’s attack, Masunda Kitada Oliver, was a graduate student who had lived in India for over six years, according to the Congolese embassy in New Delhi. He had hailed an auto rickshaw Friday night when three men insisted they had hired the vehicle. The men beat him up and hit him on the head with a stone , and he died later that night, police said.
The attack was the latest to target Africans in India. In February, a Tanzanian woman was beaten and stripped naked by a mob in in Bangalore after a Sudanese student’s car hit an Indian woman