Tanzanians in India attacked over ‘cannibalism’

25Nov 2018
By Guardian Reporter
Dwarka
Guardian On Sunday
Tanzanians in India attacked over ‘cannibalism’

AT LEAST four Tanzanian women have been rescued by Indian police after a hostile crowd gathered outside their home in Dwarka accusing them of being cannibals.

According to reports, the four were accused of abducting children with intent to harm them, the police said. Two Tanzanian women were identified only as Assifa and Riziki, and it was still unclear about their business in India.

A police patrol in Dwarka area also found two Nigerian men locked inside a room, who were also being accused of being cannibals by the residents.

They too were rescued by the police. Earlier reports said there were a number of foreigners including Tanzanians being assaulted by locals, but the Indian police said the reports were baseless as all foreigners rescued were in safe hands.

Reached for comment by telephone yesterday regarding the four Tanzanians said to have been attacked by a mob, Foreign Affairs and east African Cooperation Deputy Minister Damas Ndumbalo said Tanzania was not aware of the incident.

“I am currently in the office and I have still not heard of such an incident. The minister may be in a better position to comment on that,” he said.

According to Indian police officials, the Tanzanian women were rescued on Thursday evening after police received a series of calls informing them about their altercation with the locals.

Five phone calls were received at the police control room within a span of 41 minutes between 6.57pm and 7.38pm on Thursday informing them about the altercation involving the Tanzanian women in Kakrola area of Dwarka, police said.

When police teams reached there, they found that a crowd had gathered in front of the women's house and allegations were afloat that they had killed a child and eaten his flesh.

Police rescued the women, a senior police officer said. A sixth call was received at 7.40pm by a woman who alleged that her 16-year-old son had been kidnapped by Nigerian men, the police officer said.

However, investigations showed that it was a false charge and the caller's phone was also switched off, he said. While searching the area during night time, police found the Nigerian nationals locked inside a room. They said they were sleeping when some people came and locked their room from outside.

One of them does not possess an Indian visa and will be deported, the police said, adding that further investigation was underway. There was no assault on the Africans, police said, adding that all the six people were taken to a police station for their safety and no one was injured.

In May, last year, at least six Africans were injured in three separate incidents in Chattarpur area of south Delhi. In October, this year, a video surfaced showing a man, believed to be a Nigerian, tied to a pole and being beaten up with sticks by a group of men after he allegedly attempted to break into their house in south Delhi's Malviya Nagar area.