African envoys in India had asserted on Monday that the government did not take any effective measures after the attacks.
New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday lashed out at the African envoys who described the attacks on Nigerians in Greater Noida as ‘xenophobic and racial’.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha during the Parliament session, Swaraj said, “You can’t say that steps we took were inadequate. We are committed to ensuring security of all foreigners in India”.
She added that it was not right to connect the incident with racism before the investigation draws to a close. “I said this in context of attacks in US too,” she added, referring to attacks on Indians in America – the most infamous of which occurred in a Kansas pub costing a Hyderabad engineer his life.
"We are constantly working for security of African nationals. We told him calling us 'xenophobic' and then saying you will go to Human Rights Council was not right. V.K. Singh has spoken to them," she added.
Heads of African missions in India had on Monday termed the attacks on Nigerians as "xenophobic and racial" and asserted that ‘no known, sufficient and visible deterring measures have been taken by the government’.
The envoys, who recently held a "special" meeting on the incidents, called for an independent investigation by the Human Rights Council as well as other human rights bodies and also to comprehensively report the matter to the Commission of the African Union.
They said they expected a strong condemnation from the highest political level both nationally and locally.
Four Nigerian students were attacked by a group of Greater Noida residents who took out a candle-light march last after a 17-year-old boy Manish died due to suspected drug overdose.
The protest march was taken out after the police released some Nigerians detained for questioning in connection with death of Manish, a class 12 student, due to "lack of evidence".
India's Ministry of External Affairs had called the attacks 'unacceptable'.