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Nigerians targeted after drug murder in Goa

Diplomatic row as officials crack down on foreign nationals
Nigerians targeted after drug murder in Goa
Published: November 06, 2013 06:34 AM GMT
Updated: November 05, 2013 07:45 PM GMT

A diplomatic row triggered by the murder of a Nigerian national by a rival drug gang in southern India’s Goa has escalated, with accusations from Lagos that local authorities in Goa have begun evicting Nigerians from their homes.

The Nigerian consulate in New Delhi yesterday wrote to the Indian government demanding the arrest of those responsible for the murder of the youth, who was reportedly hacked to death on October 31. Five other Nigerians also suffered stab wounds.

The violence hit national headlines and caught the attention of the local government in Goa after some 200 Nigerians blocked a main highway in the state, demanding consular help.

"We have lost one of our nationals in a cold blooded murder," said the spokesperson for the Nigerian High Commission, Tokunbo Falohun. "The guilty should be immediately apprehended and brought to justice and they should also compensate the family of the victim."

Following the protest, the state government  launched a crackdown on foreigners living in Goa without travel documents, and began evicting Nigerians from their homes.

Goa’s Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar, has said that the state is home to a large number of illegal Nigerians and other foreign nationals who should be tracked down and deported.

Jacob Nawadibia, administrative attaché at the Nigerian High Commission, warned of retribution on Indians living in Nigeria if the Goa state government failed to arrest the killers and continued evicting Nigerians.

Nigeria is home to around one million Indians, while some 51,000 Nigerians live in India.

"The federal government is keeping a close eye on the incident," a senior Home Ministry official told ucanews.com on Tuesday, as politicians linked the violence to the illegal drugs trade in the popular tourist spot.

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