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Attacks 'racial', India took no steps: African envoys

Denouncing attacks on African nationals as "xenophobic and racial" in nature, heads of African missions in India have hit out at the government, saying it took no "known, sufficient and visible" deterrent action.

In a strongly-worded press release, the envoys, who recently held a "special" meeting on the incidents, agreed to call for an independent investigation by the Human Rights Council as well as other human rights bodies, and also to comprehensively report the matter to the Commission of the African Union.

They said they expected a strong condemnation of the attacks at the highest political level, both nationally and locally, indicating their disappointment over lack of response from the prime minister and Uttar Pradesh chief minister.

The press release dated March 31 from the office of the Dean of the African Group Head of the Missions here said the meeting was convened to look into the recent attacks against African students in Greater Noida.

"The meeting unanimously agreed that those accumulated attacks against Africans are xenophobic and racial in nature," they said.

The envoys reviewed the incidents that have taken place in the past and concluded that no "known, sufficient and visible" deterrent measures were taken by the Indian government, it said.

Condemning the attacks, they expressed their deep concern and noted that these "reprehensible events, both outstanding and unresolved cases against Africans, were not sufficiently condemned by the Indian authorities".

There are missions of more than 50 African countries which are accredited to India.

Four Nigerian students were attacked by a group of Greater Noida residents who took out a candle light march on March 26 after a 17-year-old boy Manish died due to suspected drug overdose.

The protest march was taken out after the police released some Nigerians detained for questioning in connection with death of Manish, a class 12 student, due to "lack of evidence".
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