Home >Politics >Policy >MEA share details with African countries over Somnath Bharti raid

New Delhi: The Union government on Thursday said racism is anathema to Indians and condemned the reported mistreatment of Ugandan women at Khirki Extension in South Delhi last week by Delhi’s law minister, who reportedly accused them of running a drug and prostitution racket.

“We have also indicated that this cannot be condoned and hope that this is an aberration," foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said.

According to media reports, Somnath Bharti, Delhi’s new law minister from the upstart Aam Aadmi Party, accompanied by supporters, raided a house where four Ugandan women were staying and reportedly accused them of running a drug and prostitution ring.

The women were not at home but when they returned from a party, they were accosted by Bharti and his supporters. Bharti then demanded that the police conduct medical tests on the foreigners and search the house without a warrant, which some local residents believed was a den of vice — a belief reportedly spawned by the fact that the women were from Africa.

One of the Ugandan women quoted on IBNlive news website said they were assaulted by the mob accompanying Bharti.

“We were returning from a party when we reached here and we saw a lot of Indian men on the road. They stopped our car, started shouting at us. We were really scared, so refused to step out. They started banging the doors of our car. When the police came, we finally stepped out of the car," she was quoted as saying.

On Saturday, foreign ministry officials called in African envoys to assuage their sentiments.

On Thursday, Akbaruddin said this incident did not reflect India’s relationship with Africa.

India hosted the first India Africa summit in New Delhi in 2008 and the second summit was held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in May 2011. India is set to host the third summit of the series in New Delhi later this year.

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