Bengaluru police's "peace meetings" are a sham, African community says
news Friday, March 13, 2015 - 05:30
Anisha Sheth | The News Minute | March 13, 2015 | 1.13 pm IST Follow @anisha_w Three days after a group of African students was assaulted in Bengaluru, African communities in the city are distrustful of the police. On Monday night, at least four people, mostly students from African countries, were assaulted and chased after by a mob in the Kothanur area of the city. They alleged that their complaints were not registered by the police when they went to the Kothanur police station. It was only on Wednesday that the police took action and registered an FIR. Four people have been arrested since. Now, the police are organizing meetings between the local people and members of the African student community in Kothanur, Hennur, Kammanahalli areas to enable people to get to know one another better.Â Read:Â Police register suo moto case in assault of Africans in Bengaluru Commissioner M N Reddi told The News Minute that a series of meetings would be organized in the next three days to try and â€śpromote better understanding between the Africans and the local peopleâ€ť. He said that the DCP would organize the meeting and that he would address it.Â However, members of the African community see this as another attempt to brush things under the carpet. Head for Studentsâ€™ Welfare at the Association of African Students in India â€“ Bangalore, Rutaarwa Moses said that he was not likely to attend the meeting called on Friday, as it would be another attempt at a â€ścover upâ€ť. He said that the police refused to lodge a case against the attackers. â€śIt is very clear that the students were beaten up by an angry mob. Some of ran into a bar, and the mob entered the bar and beat them up. There is CCTV evidence, and the police just called it pulling and pushing,â€ť he said. He added that the meeting would be an extension of the same attitude and â€śthey will tell the world that nothing is wrong, nothing has happened. The police, who are meant to protect (us), they are covering it up,â€ť Moses said. Moses, who is also the President of the Uganda Studentsâ€™ Association â€“ Bangalore, said that there were lakhs of Indians in Uganda, and claimed that there were â€śno complaintsâ€ť of such attacks against the Indian community in his country. â€śWe havenâ€™t hurt anyone, but we are being hurt,â€ť he said. Bengaluru has large student communities from African and Middle Eastern countries, and also large number of students and working people from the north-eastern states of the country. Asked about the possibility of misunderstanding between these groups and the locals due cultural differences, as also a small percentage of students who might create a nuisance, Moses said claimed that Africans were discriminated against the most.Â â€śThe number of cases against Africans is far higher than those against other communities. This is because of the colour of our skin,â€ť Moses said. (Photo Courtesy: Association of African Students in India Facebook page) Tweet Follow @thenewsminute
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