Indian shops attacked in Congo over killing of Congolese national in Delhi

Congo-After-Congolese-ManNew Delhi, (IANS) The Indian embassy in Kinshasa, Congo, has urged all Indian nationals to “keep a low profile” for the next couple of days after some shops belonging to Indians were attacked and a few Indians injured, apparently in retaliation to the killing of a Congolese national in New Delhi last week.

The Indian embassy, in a statement, said Chief of police in Kinshasa, General Jean De Dieu Oleko, has assured the embassy that everything will be done to secure the life and property of all Indians residing in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It said that police have already been deployed in the commercial area and that every effort is being made by local authorities to defuse the situation.

It requested all Indian nationals to “stay calm, avoid any confrontation or arguments and generally keep a low profile for the next couple of days”.

The embassy, while deeply regretting on behalf of the Indian government the killing of the Congolese national in New Delhi, said it had conveyed to the Congolese authorities about the steps being taken in India to arrest the culprits, one of whom has been arrested, and prosecute the perpetrators.

“The crime itself, it has been conveyed, was based on impulse without any planning or motive,” the statement said.

In New Delhi, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said some shops in Congo were attacked in retaliation to the killing of Masonda Ketada Olivier, 29, in Vasant Kunj area of south Delhi following an altercation with some men over the hiring of an autorickshaw

“Our embassy in Congo is in touch with local authorities and as of now things have calmed down,” he said, adding: “India’s relations with Congo go back many years. Thousands of African students continue to benefit from the Indian education system and we will ensure full safety to them.”

According to reports, hundreds of protesters allegedly forced Indian shopkeepers to keep their businesses shut and attacked their property demanding appropriate action in the case.

On Wednesday, India had assured the African envoys of the safety of their nationals.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh went into damage control mode after the African Heads of Mission (HoMs) voiced outrage over the killing and demanded steps against “racism and Afro-phobia”.

Medaram Jathara

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