Bengaluru: A senior police officer was suspended for dereliction of duty and two more people arrested for being part of a mob that assaulted a Tanzanian woman in the city last week, a top police official said on Saturday.
“Assistant Commissioner of Police A.N. Pise has been suspended for failing to supervise the case and trace occupants of the second car before it was burnt in a mob attack,” Bengaluru Police Commissioner N.S. Megharikh told reporters here.
Two more people were taken into custody on Saturday, taking the number of accused arrested to 11.
Five policemen – an inspector and four constables – were suspended on Friday for various acts of omission and commission in the case that triggered a national outrage and international condemnation.
As part of the inquiry being conducted by Additional Police Commissioner (Law and Order) K.S.R. Charan Reddy, the suspended policemen were also quizzed and their statements recorded to ascertain the sequence of events and lapses.
Meanwhile, Megharikh said that the situation in Soladevanahall is under control.
“More policemen have been deployed in the area to maintain peace and law and order. Peace groups have been formed to sort out any issue between the local residents and all foreign nationals, including African students residing in the locality,” he said.
In a related development, about 200 African students staged a protest demo at Town Hall, condemning the assault on the 21-year-old victim by a mob vigilantism and seeking protection for all foreign nationals in the city.
Holding placards and banners with messages of peace and friendship, members of the Association of African Students in India appealed to citizens of Bengaluru for harmony, mutual respect and co-existence.
“As we have come here for higher studies, allow us to do it in peace. We are also like you and others. The world is a family. Don’t discriminate and ill-treat on the basis of colour or race,” an association member told reporters.
State Home Minister G. Parameshwara had on Friday assured the African students living in the city of their safety after briefing visiting Tanzanian High Commissioner J.H John W.H. Kijazi on steps against the guilty and restore normalcy.
An angry mob had assaulted the 21-year-old victim, suspecting her to be a friend of a drunk Sudanese student, Mohammad Ahad Ismail, 20, whose car ran over woman pedestrian Shabana Taz, 35 fatally on Sunday night and injured her husband K. Sanaullah.
The Sudanese national, a MBA college student, was arrested for Shabana’s death and drunken driving after police came and rescued him from a mob.
Outraged by Shabana’s death, another mob mistakenly targetted the victim and burnt the car in which she was with three male friends, assuming her to be Ismail’s friend.
In her statement, the victim denied being stripped or paraded naked but admitted that she was assaulted and molested by the mob when her top (T-shirt) got torn off in the scuffle.