Why handling African students in Bengaluru is no easy job

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Bengaluru, Feb 4: The incident, in which a Tanzanian student was reportedly assaulted by an irate mob protesting an accident, has sent shock waves.

The Bengaluru police say that they are committed to investigating the case thoroughly. There are certain aspects to this case and also other incidents relating to African students in Bengaluru that one needs to take into account.

SA students

First and foremost the police had last year a coordination committee with a nodal officer. The committee was set up to address the problems of nearly 5,000 foreign students in Bengaluru.

However, this is a committee that has not been approached too many times and students chose to go directly their embassies instead.

Now coming to the investigation bit of it. The police have detained four persons are questioning them. The police say that this was an attack by an irate mob and it was not a racist attack. Secondly the police are prima facie ruling out molestation and say that it was a case of assault.

Delayed complaint:

The police say that the complaint filed by the girl was delayed. The incident took place on Sunday but the complaint was filed only yesterday.

The police however add that she may have delayed the complaint because she was traumatised. Further the police are also asking her for the name of the friend who she claimed had helped her.

However, she is not revealing that name the police also add. The police during the probe have learnt that she was passing by the road where there was a protest by an irate mob when she was attacked. It was a mob reaction and not a racist attack, the police say.

The tussle with the police:

While this is an incident that requires condemning there are also other incidents involving African students which has not gone down too well with the police.

An African student was arrested near the M S Ramaiah college six years back after he assaulted four night beat police men.

There have been various incidents reported on the Airport Road involving these students. Drag racing, rash driving and also incidents of drug peddling in Kamanahalli have all been reported.

In most of the cases, the police are threatened if they file complaints. The standard answer that the police always get is that they will complain to their embassy.

Most police stay away when the embassy threat is handed out. This is because when a complaint goes up before an embassy it tends to blow into a diplomatic issue. We get such threats from drug peddlers also a police officer said.

Go before the committee:

The police had last year set up a coordination committee to address the problems of foreign students. The committee comprised a nodal officer with whom complaints could be registered.

The nodal officer was instructed to immediately attend to the problems without any delay.

The committee formed to cater to the problems of 5,000 foreign students in the city however has not been approached too many times by the students.

In the meeting last year the police had told the students that they should approach the nodal officer if they face any problem which also includes visa related concerns.

The police had also told the students not to take law into their own hands and strictly restrain from getting into altercations with the police.

Further they were also told not to get into arguments with the locals. In case any local was troubling them then they were told to approach the nodal officer.

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