Govt reaches out to Africans

India continued its damage control exercise in the wake of a string of assaults on African nationals, with Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar assuring that safety and security of the community is an “article of faith“ for the government, even as a cab driver was beaten up allegedly by a group of Africans, in an apparent backlash.
Jaishankar met a group of African students who raised their concerns over host of issues including better security in the wake of the killing of Congolese national Masonda Ketada Oliver and cases of assaults against the community. “Foreign Secretary to students: Ensuring safety and security of foreign students is an article of faith for us,“ External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
The issues raised by the African students, which were part of a world students' body, included visa issues, problems in getting accommodation and the need for sensitising the police while dealing with them. On his part, Jaishankar assured them that India shares their concerns and will take steps to address the problems being faced by them.
Official sources said the attacks over the last few days were casting a shadow on visits of Vice President Hamid Ansari to Morocco and Tunisia and by Prime Minister Narendra Modi later in the year to Mozambique and South Africa.
Separately, Joint Secretary (West Africa) in the MEA Birender Yadav received the family of Masonda Ketada Oliver at the airport and gave the assurance that government would ensure a speedy trial in the case and prosecution of all those responsible for the crime. The MEA told the family that it would bear all expenses related to dispatch of mortal remains of Oliver.
He said that the family members thanked the Indian government for its assistance. Later, the family accompanied by Congo Ambassador met Yadav at his office.
Meanwhile, in an apparent backlash, a cab driver was beaten up allegedly by a group of Africans in the wee hours in south Delhi's Rajpur Khurd, the locality in which African nationals were attacked by groups of locals in four separate incidents last week.
The incident took place around 4 am when the cab driver went to pick up passengers in Mehrauli. Police had on Sunday arrested five people for their alleged involvement in attacking people of African origin.

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