Delhi: Mob Attacks Africans For Being 'Cannibals', Police Registers Case Against 200
In a harrowing incident, six African nationals were on Thursday, November 22, attacked by separate mobs at two different locations in south Delhi’s Dwarka area upon suspicions of being cannibals. Following this, an angry crowd gathered outside the Africans’ Dwarka home, they were rescued by Delhi police. The crowd had tried to drag the African nationals outside their houses following the rumour.
Reportedly, on November 24, the Delhi Police registered a case against approximately 200 unidentified people for joining a group of irate citizens who tried to intimidate and threaten the six African nationals. However, the police claimed that since the six African nationals were not physically attacked by the mob, a case of wrongful restraint has been registered against them. The police also maintained that these incidents were not cases of “racial hatred”.
The incident began when an African-origin man while sitting in a park at RZ-block near Old Palam Road was chased by three men claiming to come from a Haryana village. Following the man escaping and shutting himself inside a house, the mob began gathering outside, said a report by The Times of India. The mob claimed that a boy had been killed and “eaten by the Africans”.
Among the African nationals were four Tanzanian women and two Nigerian men. The police became aware of the incident when they received five calls alleging that there was a quarrel between a foreigner woman and a mob in Dwarka’s Kakrola.
When the police reached the spot, they saw a crowd 200 to 250 people had gathered outside the house of Assifa and Riziki, two Tanzanian women. The two were rescued by the police.
Another call from a woman who accused that a Nigerian had kidnapped her 16-year-old son, led the police to two more Nigerian women in Dwarka, Fatima, 25, and Esta Joshva, 30. The kidnapping charge turned out to be false, reported India Today. An investigation later revealed that nobody from the caller’s family had been abducted.
Two other Nigerian men, 38-year-old Nwaogu and 34-year-old Ogbuewu, who claimed that they had been locked inside their rooms by the mob, were discovered by the police. However, after police began ensuring that those who were rescued had valid documents to stay in India, they found out that Nwaogu did not possess an Indian visa, Nwaogu will thus be deported.
Allegations against the African community
The locality’s African community has been in a state of panic since the incident occurred. In Kakrola’s lower-middle-class locality, several houses have been rented out to foreign nationals, who are still scared because the rumours about the man-eating Africans have still not died, and locals are still hostile.
“They use sweets and toffies to lure our kids. I have even caught one once trying to walk away with my four-year-old grandchild,” said a Kakrola resident, 50-year-old Chandrakala. 56-year-old Hira Lal, another resident, claimed that there was a nuisance in the locality because of the Africans. Lal’s daughters said that drunk African men had earlier entered their house twice and had to be forced out with a broomstick. Locals describe the African community living in the locality as “drug-peddlers”, “dog-eaters”, “prostitutes” and “kidnappers”.
A resident, Neetu, claimed that, while people from other states like Bengal, Haryana, Nepal were normal neighbours, the Africans never talked to anyone and only came out at night. Reportedly, 48-year-old Vinita said that the Africans play loud music and do not let other people sleep. She is happy because of what happened as she hopes no African will now come to live in that locality, and accused police of inaction despite previous complaints.
The African community feels that lack of education and xenophobia give rise to racial discrimination and violence because of mere rumours. Sadly, a very similar theme reigns in every incident of violence against the African community in the city ─ stereotyping and hostility based on baseless rumours. Similar incidents have earlier taken place in Khirki, Noida and Greater Noida.