05/04/2017 2:23 PM IST | Updated 05/04/2017 2:42 PM IST

African Envoys' Statement On Attack On Africans In India 'Unfortunate And Surprising', Says Sushma Swaraj

"You can't say our steps are inadequate."

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NEW DELHI -- External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday refuted allegations that adequate steps were not taken regarding the attack on Nigerian nationals in Greater Noida and termed the statement by African envoys in the matter as "unfortunate and surprising".

She said the government is committed to ensure the security and safety of foreign nationals in India.

"You can't say our steps are inadequate. We are committed to ensuring security of all foreigners including Africans in India," Sushma Swaraj said in the Lok Sabha, while making a statement on attack on Nigerian nationals in India.

Sushma Swaraj also said that it was too early to term the nature of the attack as racial until the probe ends.

"The attack cannot be called racist before the probe is completed. I said this in context of attacks in the US too," she said.

The senior BJP leader also dubbed the statement by African envoys on the matter as "unfortunate".

"African envoys' statement on attacks on African students is unfortunate, painful and surprising," Sushma said.

African Heads of Mission posted in New Delhi have strongly condemned the 27 March attack on Nigerian nationals and said such attacks were "xenophobic and racial in nature".

They also kept open the possibility of taking the matter to international human rights bodies for an independent investigation if the Indian government failed to take legal action against the perpetrators.

The attack on four Nigerian students took place on March 27 night in Greater Noida, some 40 km from the Indian capital, following protests over the death of a Class 12 student of a residential colony due to alleged drug overdose.

Some people who were holding a candle-light vigil for the student attacked the Nigerians, suspecting them of supplying drug to the deceased.

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