After Law Minister Somnath Bharti almost caused a diplomatic row by targeting African women during a midnight raid in Khirki Extension last month, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday assured envoys of 30 African countries that his government was taking all steps to ensure no discrimination against foreign nationals living in Delhi.
On Wednesday, Kejriwal hosted a reception for ambassadors and high commissioners of African countries and gave this assurance in response to concerns raised by some diplomats.
A statement released by the CM’s office said that Zimbabwean Ambassador and Dean of the African Diplomatic Core Jonathan Wutawunashe requested him (Kejriwal) to take robust measures to ensure that recent incidents are not repeated in the capital.
Nigerian Ambassador Ndubuisi Vitus Amaku, who is also deputy dean of African Diplomatic Core, urged the CM to “give a public assurance that there will be no discrimination against citizens from African countries.”
“Delhi is home to citizens from across the world and my government is committed to showcasing the national capital as a city where law-abiding people from different parts of the country and the world live together peacefully,” Kejriwal told the ambassadors and high commissioners.
He also sought the diplomats’ views and suggestions against the backdrop of some incidents in recent days in Delhi.
The Kejriwal government was embroiled in a controversy after Bharti’s raid last month. Bharti had accused some foreign nationals of being involved in a drugs-and-prostitution racket and had even taken four Ugandan women to AIIMS for a blood test. At least two women have since filed complaints against Bharti.
The incident had forced the Union Ministry of External Affairs to convene a meeting of diplomats from African nations. The MEA had assured them that the incident was an ‘aberration’, which the Central government did not support.