India arrests over assaults on Africans

Members of the African Students Association hold placards during a protest in Hyderabad on February 6, 2016Image copyright
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African students often complain that they are racially abused in India

Indian police say five people have been arrested over attacks on six Africans last Thursday, the latest in a number of assaults that have strained ties between African countries and India.

Earlier this month, a Congolese man was beaten to death following a dispute over hiring an auto-rickshaw.

India has promised tough action against attackers who target Africans.

Thousands of Africans are studying at Indian universities. A student group is holding an anti-racism rally next week.

Three separate cases have been registered following last Thursday’s incidents, in which six African nationals suffered injuries.

Delhi police official Ishwar Singh said the scuffles on Thursday night took place after local residents objected to the Africans drinking alcohol and playing loud music in the street.

The Africans said they were racially abused and attacked by a mob.

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that she had spoken to police about the attacks and had asked them to meet the African students who were planning the demonstration at the Jantar Mantar site in Delhi.

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Alix Kroeger

Last week, heads of African diplomatic missions in Delhi refused to attend Africa Day celebrations in protest at the murder of Congolese national Masunda Kitada Olivier.

They said African nationals in Delhi were living in a “pervading climate of fear and insecurity”.

Two men have been arrested over Mr Olivier’s death.

In February, a Tanzanian student was assaulted and partially stripped by a mob in the southern city of Bangalore.

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