Sushma Swaraj: 'Deeply Pained' By 'Shameful' Attack On Tanzanian Student

04/02/2016 11:16 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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Chief Minister of the southern Indian state of Karnataka Siddaramaiah arrives to attend a Congress party leaders meeting in New Delhi on December 27, 2013. In the first major poll exercise after the party's drubbing in recent Assembly elections, Congress Party vice-president Rahul Gandhi held a strategy session with top leaders and Chief Ministers of 12 Congress-ruled states to make the party fighting fit for the up coming Parliament election. AFP PHOTO/RAVEENDRAN (Photo credit should read RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- Three days after a 21-year-old Tanzanian student was allegedly beaten and stripped on a street in Bengaluru, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said that she was "deeply pained over the shameful incident," and had asked the Siddaramaiah-led Congress Party government in Karnataka to ensure the safety of all foreign students.

"I spoke to the Chief Minister Karnataka. He informed me that a criminal case has been registered and four accused have been arrested," Swaraj said in a tweet on Wednesday.

Five persons have been arrested in connection with the horrific incident which played out on the night of Jan. 31.

"Five people have been arrested. An inquiry is going on," G. Parameshwara, Karnataka's Home Minister, told reporters on Thursday, adding that more people are likely to be arrested as the investigation is carried out by City Crime Branch (CCB) over the next two days.

"We have taken it very seriously," said Parameshwara , also pointing that any action will be taken against police officials if any lapses on their part in the incident.

Parameshwara refused to acknowledge the incident as a "racial attack," but rather a response to an accident which had occurred in the same area, around 30 minutes before the Tanzanian woman was attacked. He also said that refuted reports about the woman being stripped and paraded on the street.

"There was no stripping and parading naked," he said.

On Jan 31, a car driven by Sudanese student Mohammed Ismail hit two local residents, K Sanaullah and his wife, triggering the incident which has sparked outrage across the country. While K Sanaullah was injured, his wife died on the spot.

Ismail was also injured and his car was set on fire by three or four people.

The Tanzanian woman, who was traveling with other companions, was pulled out of their car by the angry mob, when they drove by 30 minutes after the accident. Her companions were also assaulted and their vehicle was torched.

When the student tried to board a bus to escape, she was pushed out by other passengers.

In a police complaint filed on Sunday, the Tanzanian woman did not mention that she was stripped, The Indian Express reported, but she said that “her top was removed” in a subsequent complaint filed on Wednesday following media reports.

“We were shocked by media reports on Wednesday and we summoned the woman to know what exactly happened. She appeared before the Soladevanahalli police and gave a new statement, saying she was stripped by a mob. We have added suitable sections of the IPC to the FIR that was registered earlier based on the complaint that her car was set on fire. We need to investigate further," T.R. Suresh, a senior police official, told IE.

But Parameshwara today said that the Tanzanian woman made no mention of being stripped naked in her complaint.

Meanwhile, Congress Party Vice President Rahul Gandhi has also asked the Karnataka government for a report on the incident.

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