Attack on Nigerians: Diplomatic row escalates, Dean of African Envoys summoned

While asserting that the action taken by the government can’t be termed inadequate, the government said that there was no need to involve the UN as India has democratic and judicial platforms for securing justice
Hardnews Bureau Delhi 

The diplomatic row over the attack on four Nigerian students in Greater Noida escalated further today as the Dean of the African Heads of Mission was summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs here and given a strong message by India that they were carrying the matter too far by threatening to take the issue to the United Nations.

Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj told the Lok Sabha that her deputy, General V K Singh, called the Dean and conveyed to him that terming the attacks against the four Nigerian students ''racial and xenophobic'' was unfortunate. General Singh also told him that there was no need to involve the UN as India has democratic and judicial platforms for securing justice.

Responding to the issue raised during Zero Hour by Congress’ KC Venugopal and others, Swaraj termed their conclusion about the political leadership not taking adequate action to prevent such accidents ''absolutely wrong.''

''The government’s action cannot be called inadequate. The legal process was on, six persons have been arrested and the guilty will be punished,'' Swaraj said.

The heads of African Missions, in a statement issued on Monday after a meeting on the attack on Nigerian students in Greater Noida, described the recent attacks on African nationals as ''racist and xenophobic'' and said that they would take the matter to the Human Rights Council of the UN. They said that no sufficient and visible deterring measures were taken by the Indian government to prevent such attacks. The envoys also decided to report the matter to the African Union.

''The Dean's statement was surprising and painful. I called him today, and General Singh spoke to him and candidly told him that if they were not satisfied, they should have sought a meeting with the External Affairs Minister,'' Swaraj told the Lok Sabha. 

(With inputs from UNI)