New Delhi: The Delhi police rescued four Tanzanian women and two Nigerian women from being attacked by angry mobs in Dwarka in west Delhi after rumours spread that a child had been kidnapped by ‘cannibal Africans’.
Delhi police: Four Tanzanian and 2 two Nigerian nationals were rescued last night from Kakrola area under Dwarka north police station limits. Police had received multiple calls against them including one that alleged that they have abducted a child.
— ANI (@ANI) November 23, 2018
A senior police officer told reporters that the boy who was thought to have kidnapped was never really missing. No case has been registered so far, the Hindustan Times reported.
On Thursday evening, around 6:30 pm, the police received several phone calls about a fight brewing in Dwarka’s Kakrola, alerting them that a crowd was gathering and threatening to attack Africans in the area.
“At one place, we found a crowd had gathered outside a house where some Africans lived. The mob had gathered on hearing rumours that the Africans were cannibals. We dispersed the crowd and rescued four Africans from there and took them to the local police station,” said the officer.
Just an hour later, another caller claimed her 16-year-old son had been kidnapped by a Nigerian. But this was found to be a hoax.
According to Scroll, later in the night, while patrolling the area, the police found two Nigerian men locked in a room. The two said that they had been sleeping inside when someone bolted the door from outside.
“The other calls for help were received minutes later from a nearby neighbourhood from where two Africans alleged that they were locked in their flat from outside, they too were rescued,” police said.
The Delhi police later told ANI that there had been “no racial attack” and that they helped disperse a crowd to “rescue two Tanzanian women”.
Delhi police: No racial attack. Received call that people are gathering. We reached there, dispersed crowd&rescued 2 Tanzanian women. Crowd had gathered following abduction rumours. Later we received a call of abduction. It was a hoax call. We rescued Tanzanian&Nigerian nationals
— ANI (@ANI) November 23, 2018
In March 2017, five Nigerian students were blamed for the death of Manish Khari, a Class XII student of Jaypee International School. Khari, who died later in the hospital, was eventually found alive but by then, a protest taken out by residents in the area had also accused the Nigerians of cannibalism. There were several attacks on Africans in the Delhi NCR area in the days that followed.
Africans living in India have often expressed the racism they face in everyday life – while using public transport, from landlords, from neighbours and so on. Brutal racial attacks have also been recently reported from Bangalore and Delhi.
In October last year, a video of one such attack in Savitri Nagar went viral, where a mob in south Delhi is seen punching, kicking and beating with sticks a Nigerian man tied to a lamp post. The video showed the man, later identified as 24-year-old Ahmad, begging to be let go.
At least six Africans were wounded in three separate incidents in Chattarpur area of south Delhi in May 2016.