A Nigerian national, Leohand Lyeanyi, has died after he was allegedly assaulted by India police personnel on Sunday morning.
Following the death, tensions persisted in the Tilak Nagar area of Delhi as Africans gathered outside the police station.
Speaking to SaharaReporters, an eyewitness claimed Lyeanyi died because of a Lathi injury inflicted on him by Sime police personnel.
Commonly used in South Asia, Lathi is a long, heavy iron-bound bamboo stick used as a weapon, especially by the police.
He said the deceased was on his way to pick his brother from the airport when the incident happened.
“Yesterday, this young man that the policemen killed went to a lady’s birthday, and he was expecting his brother to arrive in India that morning. So, he went to the birthday party because most people saw him at the event. He wanted to spend time there so that before morning, he would go to the airport to pick up his brother.
“So, he left the birthday venue in the morning and went to the airport. On his way out, those policemen arrested him. When he was arrested, they found some money in his possession, and they wanted to take that money from him by force. He didn’t allow them to take the money so he was hit in the head. When this thing was happening, one Indian man was there videoing what was going on, so when they hit him, the guy fell down and died.
“We (Africans) asked them to give us the CCTV footage because there was CCTV camera there, but they removed the camera. The Indian guy that has the video coverage of what happened there, they took the video from him. Now, Africans started shouting because the man that was killed was a gentle man. We started shouting black lives matter.”
The police, however, gave an entirely different account of the incident.
A senior police officer said they received information about Lyeanyi's death at around 3.30 am on Sunday from the DDU hospital.
He said the post-mortem report of the victim was being awaited. The police also said that they have found CCTV footage wherein the victim could be seen stepping out of an auto-rickshaw and sitting near a shop. He then collapsed, hitting his head on the ground.
There was nobody around him, they said. Two cases have been registered against the violent mob, police said, adding that a probe is on in the matter.