India

India arrests over Tanzanian student attack in Bangalore

The mob beat up the Tanzanian students and set fire to their car
Image caption The mob beat up the Tanzanian students and set fire to their car

Police in the southern Indian city of Bangalore say they have arrested five people in connection with an attack on a Tanzanian student.

A mob assaulted and partially stripped the 21-year-old woman after a Sudanese student's car ran over and killed a local woman on Sunday night.

The woman and her three friends - all Tanzanians - were attacked as they were passing by the accident site.

The crowd chased the young woman and "removed her top", police said.

India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Wednesday that she was deeply pained over the "shameful incident", and asked the chief minister of Karnataka state - of which Bangalore is the capital - to "ensure safety and security of all foreign students and stringent punishment for the guilty".

Police said a mob gathered in Hessarghatta area on Sunday night after an allegedly drunk student from Sudan ran his car over a woman sleeping on the roadside.

The mob beat up the man and set fire to his car, but he managed to escape.

The four Tanzanian students, including the woman, were attacked when they stopped to ask what had happened. The mob also set their car on fire.

A senior police official said "her top was torn and removed, but there was no sexual assault".

Bangalore police chief NS Megharikh told BBC Hindi's Imran Qureshi that it "was a case of road rage and nothing to do with racism or friction between locals and African students".

But Tanzania's High Commissioner to India, John WH Kijazi, told the ANI news agency said that "the student was attacked because of her race and colour".

"There was an element of mob justice to the attack, and that the case was a work in progress," he said.

Bangalore, a hub for global software firms often called India's Silicon Valley, is home to hundreds of foreign students.

Hessarghatta, where Sunday's incident happened, has half a dozen educational institutions where a large number of African students - including 150 from Tanzania - study.