Bengaluru: Five persons have been arrested for the alleged assault and stripping of a Tanzanian woman here with the Karnataka government today saying it viewed the incident “seriously” but rejected suggestions that it was a racial attack.
As the incident on Sunday night took a serious diplomatic turn, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said five men had been arrested and that Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj spoke to him. A report would be sent to her, he said.
“Case has been registered, five of them (accused) have been arrested. Sushma Swaraj also spoke to me, I will also be sending her a report through my Chief Secretary,” he told reporters at “Invest Karnataka 2016”, a global investors meet, here.
The Chief Minister said he has asked the police to conduct an inquiry on why complaint was not taken immediately.
“I have asked them to take action against officials if there is any fault on their part,” he said.
The 21-year-old 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 here.
She was reportedly dragged out of the car in which she was seated along with her three friends when she reached the accident spot mistaking them to have caused the fatal accident though a Sudanese was involved in it, police said.
Swaraj had described it as a “shameful incident” and spoken to Siddaramaiah, seeking stringent punishment for the guilty, while the High Commission of Tanzania had sent a Note Verbale to the External Affairs Ministry on the issue.
Voicing concern over the incident, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today sought a report from the Karnataka government, according to party General Secretary Digvijay Singh, in charge of Congress affairs in the state.
“Rahul Gandhi asks Karnataka Govt to explain and send report immediately,” Singh said in a series of tweets.
But asked if the Congress high command has sought a report, Siddaramaiah said, “Why will high command seek report on everything? It is you people who are saying…”
State Home Minister G Parameshwara told a press meet here that five persons had been arrested and more arrests would follow depending on the inquiry.
The minister, who named the victim, denied that the Tanzanian woman was paraded naked saying, “No such thing happened.”
He also said, “This is definitely not a racial attack” and maintained that the incident was a response to an accident that had happened earlier, in which a Sudanese driving a car in an alleged drunken state had mowed down a woman and injured her husband seriously.
Noting that the government has taken the case “seriously”, he said, “If there are any lapses on the part of police officials, we will take very serious action, including suspension.”