Bengaluru: African student mows down woman, thrashed

Deccan Chronicle.

Nation, Crime

The fight between local residents and African students has become a frequent affair in Kothanur.

A car belonging to African students that was set on fire in Ganapathi Nagar in Bengaluru on Sunday (Photo: DC)

Bengaluru: Tension prevailed at Ganapathi Nagar in Soladevanahalli police station limits on Sunday night after the local residents torched two cars belonging to African students after one of the cars mowed down a 35-year-old woman. The police resorted to a mild lathi-charge to disperse the angry crowd.

It is alleged that Mohammed Ahad, 20, who was behind the wheels, was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of accident, but it is yet to be ascertained. He is a B.Pharma student at Mallige College of Pharmacy in Chikkabanavara and a resident of Tarabanahalli. The woman who died in the accident has been identified as Shabana Taj, wife of Sanaullah, a welder. The family stays near Acharya Institute of Technology.

The couple was returning home after a walk when the accident occurred around 7.30 pm on Acharya College Road. As they were crossing the road, a Fiat Palio car, which was allegedly being driven recklessly, knocked down the couple. Shabana sustained fatal injuries and died on the spot, while Sanaullah sustained multiple fractures.

The African student, Ahad, was allegedly returning home after a party. His car had hit two two-wheelers and a car just few metres behind the accident spot, where the woman was knocked down, eyewitnesses said.     

Ahad abandoned his car and tried to flee, but the local residents chased him, thrashed him and handed him over to the police. As people were behind Ahad, they noticed three Tanzanian students, including a girl, in another car near Saptagiri Engineering College. Mistaking them to be Ahad’s friends, the mob attacked the three students and set their car on fire. The police rushed to the spot and rescued the three students, who were beaten up for no mistake of theirs.

At the spot of the accident, the other local residents had already set Ahad’s car on fire, which was completely gutted. As the angry crowd went on the rampage, the police resorted to a mild lathi charge to disperse them. All the four African students were taken to Saptagiri Hospital, where they are undergoing treatment. The police have also detained a few people on charges of arson. Imran, a local resident and an eyewitness, said that the accused student did not stop the car after the accident and tried to speed away.

“Local residents managed to chase him down and attacked him. Road accicents keep happening, especially during weekends, as the students indulge in drunk driving,” he said. The locals, who staged a protest following the incident, demanded strict action against the accused students and threatened to observe bandh on Monday. Senior police officers rushed to the spot and additional police force were deployed to avert any untoward incident. Cases have been registered in Jalahalli traffic police station in connection with the accident and in Soladevanahalli station for the mob attack.

Tenuous ties: The fight between local residents and African students has become a frequent affair in Kothanur, Soladevanahalli and surrounding areas, where a large number of African stay. In April last year, African nationals were attacked by the locals in Kothanur for allegedly creating nuisance in public. In August, three locals were arrested for assaulting an African national.

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