Bengaluru Mob Strips And Parades Tanzanian Woman In A Case Of Mistaken Identity

03/02/2016 3:39 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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INDIA - JANUARY 12: CNG Car burning into flames due to leakage in the CNG supply at East Delhi (Photo by Qamar Sibtain/The India Today Group/Getty Images)

An enraged mob in Bengaluru, India's IT hub, waylaid, stripped and paraded a 21-year-old Tanzanian student who was passing by the site of an accident in which a Sudanese man had allegedly mowed down a woman in the city's Hesaraghatta area on Sunday night. A report in the Deccan Chronicle today claimed that the assault happened right under the watch of the local police.

The woman, a second year BBA student of Acharya College, was beaten up by the mob that thought she was part of the group that had run over the 35-year-old Hesaraghatta resident. She was paraded naked, the report said.

The Times of India reported yesterday that police arrested a youth on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder following the death of Shabana Taj. Taj was out on an evening walk with her husband at around 7 pm when 21-year-old Sudanese student Mohammed Ismail, a B.Pharma student at Acharya College, allegedly hit her with his car.

Police claimed Ismail was under the influence of alcohol and narcotics. The report said the mob pulled Ismail out of the car and also beat up the three Tanzanian students, including the woman, who had apparently nothing to do with the accident. Police registered a case of rioting based on the complaint filed by one of the students. No arrests have been made so far.

The Tanzanian woman arrived at the site in a Wagon-R along with four others about half an hour after the accident. The angry mob dragged her out of the car and stripped her naked. When a bystander tried to cover her with a T-shirt, he too was assaulted.

In a desperate attempt to flee the spot, the woman boarded a bus, but the passengers threw her back out on the road and into the mob. Her companions were also assaulted.

"She’s Tanzanian, the man who caused the accident comes from Sudan, they didn’t even know each other," Bosco Kaweesi, Legal Adviser, All African Students Union in Bengaluru was quoted by the Deccan Chronicle as saying.

The mob then set their car ablaze. The students lost valuable documents such as their passports, ATM cards and cash in the fire. When they went to a hospital for treatment, they were turned out because they could not pay the bill, having lost their cash and ATM cards in the fire. Their phones were also robbed, Kaweesi said.

African students study in large numbers in educational institutions across India and a prevalent racial bias is not unheard of. In 2014, Nigerians in Goa were assaulted over allegations of drug peddling and last year a mob thrashed two African students at a Delhi Metro station.

The Tanzanian Embassy has sought a report on the incident from student leaders to pursue the issue diplomatically, Kaweesi told Deccan Chronicle.

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