A Tanzanian woman student was allegedly beaten up and stripped by a mob in a case of "mistaken identity" after a woman was mowed down by a car in Bengaluru, prompting the authorities of the East African country to raise the matter with the Indian government.
Reacting to the incident, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, "We are deeply pained over the shameful incident" and that she has spoken to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and requested him to ensure stringent punishment to the guilty.
The 21-year-old Tanzanian, who is doing her Bachelor of Business Management course, was dragged out of the car in which she was seated along with her three friends.
The car was stopped by the mob shortly after they reached the accident spot on Sunday night, according to All African Students Union in Bengaluru. She was stripped by a section of the mob and pushed out of a slow-moving bus that was passing by as she tried to board it to escape, the Union's Legal Adviser Bosco Kaweesi told media persons.
Three others were also beaten up. Official sources in New Delhi said the high commission of Tanzania has sent a Note Verbale to the External Affairs Ministry about the reported attack, requesting it to take necessary legal action against the guilty.
"We are deeply pained over the shameful incident with a Tanzanian girl in Bengaluru," Swaraj tweeted.
"I have asked the chief minister to ensure safety and security of all foreign students and stringent punishment for the guilty," she said in another tweet.
Swaraj said Siddaramaiah informed her that a criminal case has been registered and four accused have been arrested. The sources said the Joint Secretary in MEA's East and Southern Africa Division has spoken to the high commissioner of Tanzania and expressed regret over the unfortunate incident.
The Tanzanian embassy requested the government to ensure safety and security of all African students in India.
The joint secretary told the Tanzanian high commissioner that the ministry is in regular touch with the authorities in Bengaluru and that the state authorities have said they are seized of the matter and have taken action to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
According to the Bengaluru police, the complaint by the Tanzanian girl was filed only today even though incident happened on Sunday. Kaweesi said she had no connection with the accident and alleged the police "was not so helpful" when they were approached.
Police Commissioner N S Megharikh said that after the accident, which claimed the life of a 35-year old woman, the driver of the car was assaulted and he was taken to hospital.
Image: The screengrab shows the car which was burnt down before the assault