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Indian police arrest man over Nigerian death in Goa

06 November 2013, 15:46

Panaji - Indian police in Goa said Wednesday they had arrested a local man in connection with the killing of a Nigerian, whose death has triggered protests and heightened tensions in the holiday state.

A Indian man in his mid-thirties was detained on Tuesday night in north Goa, accused of being part of a gang who stabbed the Nigerian man to death last week, a senior police official told AFP, adding further arrests were expected soon.

Tensions have been rising in the western resort state since the man was found dead on October 30, with police blaming the killing on rivalry between local and Nigerian drug traffickers.

The arrest came after Nigeria told India on Tuesday that it feared for the safety of its nationals in Goa and called for immediate action against those behind the killing.

Goan police arrested 53 Nigerians last week after around 200 of them staged a protest against the killing, chasing a police hearse carrying the corpse of the dead Nigerian and putting the body on the road.

Following the demonstration, which blocked Goa's main highway for several hours, Goa's chief minister Manohar Parrikar asked police to track down Nigerians living illegally in the former Portugese colony so that they could be deported.

After the protest, a minister in the state's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party government, Dayanand Mandrekar, stirred more controversy by saying: "Nigerians are like cancer".

Nigeria's High Commission issued a diplomatic note and demanded on Tuesday that the security of its nationals be assured.

"We have lost one of our nationals in a cold-blooded murder," Nigerian High Commission press spokesman Tokunbo Falohun said, calling for justice and compensation for the family of the dead man.

The previous day, another High Commission official warned of repercussions against Indians living in Nigeria if Goa did not stop "evicting Nigerians" from the coastal state and failed to arrest the killers.

Asked if there would be any "repercussions" from the murder, Falohun said Tuesday there would be none if Indian authorities dealt properly with the matter.


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