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25 June 2024

African woman targeted in fresh mob violence in India

Photo: AFP


A Kenyan woman was attacked Wednesday, Indian police said, in the same northern city where a mob had assaulted African students following the death of a local teenager from a suspected drug overdose.

The woman was allegedly dragged out of a taxi and repeatedly slapped and kicked by unknown assailants as she returned to her home in Greater Noida, a satellite city outside India's capital New Delhi.

"She has lodged a formal complaint and alleged that four to five men attacked her. We have launched an investigation," senior police officer Sujata Singh told AFP.

The 25-year-old student suffered bruising from the attack and was taken to hospital for treatment, Singh said.

The incident came as police stepped up security in the city's sprawling suburbs where mobs on Monday attacked a group of Africans with sticks and metal chairs.

Police have arrested five people over the assault but are still looking for at least four others and have set up security checkpoints and increased patrols as part of the manhunt.  

Video footage showed an angry mob hitting a car with sticks and kicking it, while another clip showed dozens of attackers hitting shoppers in a mall with metal chairs and garbage cans.

Hundreds of African students live in Greater Noida, where there are several popular universities, engineering colleges and other educational institutions.

The attack followed the death of a local 16-year-old from an apparent drug overdose on Sunday.

Police detained five Nigerian students in connection with the case after a group of local people went to their home and accused them of murder.

The students were later released after police failed to find any evidence against them.

But a crowd that had assembled for a candlelit vigil to demand justice for the teenager turned violent after spotting a group of Nigerians.

India's foreign ministry condemned the incident as "deplorable" and assured the Nigerian high commissioner (ambassador) that all steps were being taken to protect their citizens in India.