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India: Justice Will Be Served to Killers of Congolese Student


FILE - Indian Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj gestures during a press conference in New Delhi on Aug. 22, 2015.

FILE - Indian Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj gestures during a press conference in New Delhi on Aug. 22, 2015.

Indian authorities have assured justice for a Congolese student beaten to death in New Delhi last Friday.

"I have asked my colleague Gen V.K.Singh to meet the heads of missions of African countries in Delhi and assure them of Indian Government's commitment to the safety and security of African nationals in India," Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj tweeted Wednesday.

"I would like to assure African students in India that this [is] an unfortunate and painful incident involving local goons," she added in another tweet.

Masunda Kitada Oliver, a 23-year-old Congolese graduate student who had lived in New Delhi for six years, was hailing a rickshaw Friday when three men who claimed they had hired the vehicle beat him and hit him on the head with a stone. Oliver died later that night, according to police.

"The incident came to light at around 11:55pm and the eyewitnesses told the police that the victim was chased for 20 meters and then beaten up by the assailants," a senior police officer told local media. "He had injuries on his head and face."

Two of the suspects have been detained, while a third remains on the run.

Oliver's death marks the latest event in a series of violence often targeting Africans on the subcontinent. The Group of African Heads of Mission condemned the attacks, calling on India to ensure better protection of Africans on its soil.

"The Group of African heads of Mission have met and deliberated extensively on this latest incidence in the series of attacks to which members of the African community have been subjected to in the last several years," dean of the group and Eritrean ambassador Alem Tsehage Woldemariam said in a statement. "They strongly condemn the brutal killing of this African and calls on the Indian government to take concrete steps to guarantee the safety and security of Africans in India."

Sushma Swaraj has promised that the suspects in Oliver's murder will be tried by a fast-track court, and that members of her cabinet would be holding meetings with African students in India's largest cities to ensure their safety and security.

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