'We are committed to African students' safety,' Swaraj added. Photograph: (Zee News Network)
'The attack cannot be called racist before probe is completed,' she said in Parliament
India's foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said Wednesday that she was "surprised" the attacks on people of African origin had been termed "xenophobic and racist".
"The attack cannot be called racist before probe is completed. We are committed to African students' safety," PTI quoted her as saying in Parliament.
PTI added that Swaraj called the African envoys' statement after the attack "unfortunate, painful and surprising".
The chiefs of missions of 43 African countries had called the attacks "xenophobic and racist".
They had added that the attacks had not been condemned strongly enough by the prime minister and the chief minister of UP, where the attacks took place.
The attacks -- in Greater Noida -- had taken place after the death of a teenager, presumably of a drug overdose.
Locals however alleged he had been forced to consume drugs.
The FIR filed after the attacks -- in which at least four people of African origin had been attacked -- had said as many as 1,000 locals had taken to the streets of Greater Noida looking to attack anybody who "looked like an African".