It seems, the east African country of Ethiopia has emerged as the most hostile place for Indians living there. Between 2018 and 2020, a total of seventeen cases of attacks on Indians were reported in the country, according to government data.
Ethiopia was followed by the United States and Ireland, where 16 and 14 cases of attacks, respectively, on Indians took place in the same period, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan informed Lok Sabha in a written reply on Wednesday.
A total of 94 cases of assaults on Indians living abroad was reported between 2018 and 2020.
Ethiopia with around 5,500 Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) traditionally shares close and friendly relations with India. Both New Delhi and Addis Ababa have cooperated in the international fora on various issues.
Indian community has a sizeable presence in the educational sector of Ethiopia. There are an estimated 1,500-2,000 Indian lecturers/professors in about 40 universities and higher educational institutions working there, according to Indian Embassy website.
The United States, the dream destination of many Indians reported 10 cases of Indians being attacked in 2018, followed by 5 incidents in 2019 and one in 2020. The country has approximately 12.8 lakh NRI population.
Ireland and India inspired each-other’s nationalist movements in the early decades of the last century. Both New Delhi and Dublin established formal diplomatic links as early as in 1947, still the country witnessed 14 attacks on Indians in the last three years, 4 each in 2018 and 2019 and 6 attacks last year. The country hosts around 15,000 NRIs.
The government reply in the Lok Sabha based on “Information available with the MEA” did not mention the nature of the attacks or the reason behind the assaults.
Other countries where high numbers of cases of attacks on Indians took place in the last three years include Poland (8 cases), Canada (6 cases) and France (5 cases).
Canada which was in the eye of storm recently over Khalistani activists reported one attack in 2018 which grew to 2 and 3 assaults in 2019 and 2020, respectively. The country has around 17 lakh Overseas Indian population including 1.78 lakh NRIs.
Neighbouring Sri Lanka reported four cases of attacks on Indians, 3 cases in 2019 and one last year whereas one case of attack was reported from China in 2020.
“Whenever any instance of an attack on Indian nationals comes to notice, our Mission/Post promptly takes up the matter with that country’s Foreign Ministry and other concerned authorities to take appropriate measures for the safety and security of Indian nationals,” informed the minister.
On the issue of action taken by the host country over such incidents, the minister said that local governments “normally provide necessary assistance and security to Indian nationals living in that country.” Further the Indian missions or the posts pursue follow-up action, including provision of consular assistance to the affected Indian nationals, security and shelter. A keen eye is also kept on the investigation and trial processes.