Elections

Indian nationals warned of attacks ahead of elections

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By Othman Semakula

Posted  Tuesday, February 16   2016 at  14:42

In Summary

In a statement released Monday, the Commission claimed “Mr Deepankra Gupta of Joshi Electricals in Namuwongo, Kampala was attacked and severely injured by a procession escorting a political candidate on February 13 near Kitgum House as their procession moved from Nakawa into Kampala”

The Indian High Commission has warned its citizens to keep away from heightened political activity following the robbery of valuables and beating of an Indian national in Kampala at the weekend.

In a statement released Monday, the Commission claimed “Mr Deepankra Gupta of Joshi Electricals in Namuwongo, Kampala was attacked and severely injured by a procession escorting a political candidate on February 13 near Kitgum House as their procession moved from Nakawa into Kampala”.

“Mr Gupta was robbed of his belongings and also sustained serious injuries. After initial treatment in Kampala Mr Gupta has flown to India to receive specialised treatment,” a statement signed by Shri Rajesh Gawande reads in part.

In a telephone interview Tuesday Mr Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed a case of assault had been brought to their attention but “I have no details”.

“It is true (Dr) Kizza Besigye’s supporters assaulted an Indian and I think he has been flown out for treatment,” Mr Onyango said.

Daily monitor could not readily establish whether it was indeed Dr Besigye supporters who assaulted Gupta. However on the said date, supporters of Dr Kizza Besigye held from Namboole where they had gone to launch their candidate’s song dubbed: Toka Kwa Barara (get out the way).

The statement comes at a time when there has been mounting tension as Ugandans go to the polls this Thursday.

Many fear the elections could turn violent, however, the government, especially, Mr Yoweri Museveni, the NRM candidate has assured Ugandans that the elections shall be peaceful.

“Nobody, nobody can disrupt the peace of Ugandans,” Mr Museveni said at Kololo Independence Grounds at the close of last year.

It is not the first time the Indian community has been a target of violence.
In April 2007 during demonstrations to save Mabira Forests, Indian citizens became a target of attacks as more than 40 nationals had to be rescued from a Hindu temple after mobs tried to attack them.

"We were inside the temple and the protesters started attacking us from outside," Mr Dipaul Patel told Reuters then, adding "It was very frightening."

osemakula@ug.nationmedia.com


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