Barely a day after an FIR was filed against a Bengaluru landlord for his horrific abuse of a tenant from Arunachal Pradesh, another incident of alleged racial profiling was reported, this time by members of the African community in the city.
According to The Times of India, a Nigerian national, later identified as Ifeanyi Madu alias NWA Jesus, was riding pillion on a bike, when it was given chase by the police, who were out to bust a drug racket on Monday night. Madu, a businessman based in Tamil Nadu, fell off the vehicle and was injured.
KN Yashavanth Kumar, inspector, women and narcotic cell of the Central Crime Branch, claims his team, which was present on the spot to arrest the culprits of the drug racket, rushed Madu to a hospital, where he was declared brought dead. The African community in the city is not convinced by his explanation.
Igwe Elvis, president of the Nigerian Community of Students' Association, told The Hindu that the driver of the bike has, on the condition of anonymity, revealed to them that Madu's death was not the result of an accident. The injuries on the face as well as back of the head of the deceased have also deepened suspicions of a foul play. The community has demanded the case be shifted to an independent agency, like the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
A few even claimed to have seen Madu speaking to the police on Monday night, before the alleged mishap occurred. While the autopsy report could make the circumstances of the death clearer, the police maintain that Madu was fatally wounded as his co-rider swerved the bike to make a U-turn, in order to flee the scene, causing him to fall off on the street.
Relations between the police and the African community in Bengaluru were peaceful for a couple of years before it was shaken again by the freak death of a Ugandan woman last month. Bangalore Mirror reported that Florence Nakayaki, described as a sex worker, was stabbed to death by one of her clients in a dispute involving the money he owed her for sexual favours. The police have been accused of not investigating the case satisfactorily.
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