The Ministry of External Affairs has taken up the security of Indian diplomats in South Africa, after an Indian diplomat’s house was ransacked and robbed in Durban at gunpoint.
A gang of robbers stormed the residence of Consul-General of India in Durban, Shashank Vikram, on Thursday, Independent Online reported. Vikram was not home at the time when the robbers held his family at gunpoint and took away jewellery and cash, said the report.
Vikram’s wife, Megha Singh, and the couple’s two young children were home at the time, media reports said.
“Vikram’s 5-year-old son was reportedly held by one of the robbers while the men ransacked the house and threatened Vikram’s family with a gun. Jewellery was taken and the suspects fled. No arrests have been made at this stage,” Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane was quoted by Independent Online as saying.
Responding to this, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “Ensuring the safety and security of Indian diplomats/officials posted abroad, and their families is a matter of highest priority for us. In the context of the above incident, we have taken up the matter with the relevant authorities, and investigations are currently ongoing. We expect that the intruders will be arrested soon. External Affairs Minister has spoken to the Consul General and inquired about the well being of his family.”
Since India House is a diplomatic establishment, the robbery is a “rude shock”, diplomats said.
Sources in Delhi said the Indian embassy in South Africa, led by envoy Ruchira Kamboj, has sought that security be stepped up and the incident be thoroughly probed.