Stop racism in Goa, says Eduardo Faleiro

Panaji, Nov 15 : Former minister of state for external affairs Eduardo Faleiro Friday condemned what he termed the ongoing racism against Nigerians in Goa.

The condemnation comes a couple of days after the Nigerian House of Representative condemned racism in Goa's villages and ordered a legislative probe into the murder of a Nigerian here last month and the subsequent crackdown on the community.

Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Faleiro said the killing of the Nigerian national sparked a law and order crisis and caused a crackdown on Nigerians in the state some weeks back.

"Don't be racist against dark people...What is happening here is a matter of great concern," Faleiro said.

The concern has also been shared by Nigerian lawmakers, who, according to a report by newspaper the Nigerian Tribune has warned a backlash against Indians living in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Tribune also quotes the House of Representatives member Tajudeen, who has warned that possible escalation of the crisis is capable of eroding the age-long diplomatic relationship between Nigeria and India.

He added that "it may affect the official and business interest of vast number of Indians in Nigeria, who have serially benefited from our nation's benevolence since pre-Independence."

The House of Representatives of the Nigerian parliament has unanimously passed a resolution slamming Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar for a police crackdown and deportation of Nigerians.

The resolution passed in the 360-member house, according to the newspaper, was moved by Tajudeen and is titled "Gruesome murder of a Nigerian and illegal incarceration of 53 Nigerians in India".

A Nigerian mob had smashed a police vehicle, assaulted policemen, and blocked a national highway Oct 31. They were protesting the murder of their compatriot in Goa and demanded the presence of a consular official at the time of post-mortem examination.

In response, the Goa government enforced a crackdown on all foreigners, sparking a diplomatic row, after a Nigerian consul accused the state police of harassment of Nigerians.

Two villages, namely Parra and Siolim, have passed resolutions banning Nigerian students and nationals from hiring rooms under their jurisdictions -- a fact that has earned the ire of the Nigerian representatives.

"Siolim and Parra village councils have resolved to start a racist campaign by ejecting Nigerians from these villages," the Nigerian Tribune quoted Tajudeen as saying.

Former union minister Faleiro also said that drugs traders in Goa had to be cracked down, irrespective of their nationalities.

"People from many nationalities are involved in drugs trade, even Goans," he said.

--IANS (Posted on 15-11-2013)

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