Stalin urges Centre to act over protecting Indian community in South Africa

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has urged the Central government to take measures to safeguard the Indian community in South Africa where violent protests have erupted since the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma last week.

In a letter to External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Stalin referred to the reports of riots in South Africa affecting the Indian community and a large section of Tamil population have suffered economic losses.

“It is learnt that they (Indian community) are also apprehensive of further escalation of tensions there,” he said.

The Chief minister urged Jaishankar to take up the matter with the South African government through diplomatic means to impress upon the need for restoration of peace and harmony at the earliest and also to take adequate measures to safeguard life and property of the Indian community including people from Tamil Nadu.

As many as 121 people, mostly of Indian origin, have died in South Africa’s worst post-apartheid era violence in the past week.

Indian origin people, who are the worst sufferers, were forced to arm themselves in two provinces, especially in Durban city, home to more than 70 per cent of the 1.4 million Indian origin population in the country.