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Row over Nigerian national’s death in Goa intensifies

The controversy involving Nigerian nationals being targeted in Goa refused to die down on Thursday despite state minister Dayanand Mandrekar apologising for calling them (Nigerians) cancer. Chief minister Manohar Parrikar, on the other hand, according to agency reports, claimed: ‘I never said that Nigerians would be deported. What I had said was foreigners staying  illegally including Nigerians would be deported.’

Nigeria had earlier issued a note verbale to India conveying concerns over the security of its nationals and demanded immediate arrest of those who killed a Nigerian in Goa last week, prompting the government to assure that all issues will be addressed in a cooperative manner.

Parrikar, however, criticised a Nigerian diplomat for sending ‘offensive SMSes’ to a senior police officer over the controversy.

‘He (the diplomat) went to the extent of sending offensive SMSes to our superintendent of police,’ Parrikar told reporters at Vasco town, without naming the diplomat. A Nigerian diplomat, who was recently in Goa, had reportedly warned of ‘repercussions’ against Indians living in Nigeria if his fellow countrymen were harassed in Goa. Parrikar said the diplomat who arrived in Goa, had not come through a proper channel. ‘As a foreign diplomat, he should have come through the ministry of external affairs. I never got any communication that anyone is coming,’ the chief minister said. The Centre on Wednesday said it was in ‘diplomatic dialogue’ with Nigeria after that country raised the issue of the killing of its national in Goa and noted that it was expecting a report from the state government in the matter.

The special investigation squad arrested Surendra Pal on Tuesday night in connection with the killing of Obodo Uzoma Simeon from Chapora, a beachside village in north Goa.
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