276 Indians abroad came under attack in 3 years; 57 died

BENGALURU: Sureshbhai Patel, 57, was just out on a walk in the neighbourhood of his son's house he was visiting in Alabama, US, when a police officer assaulted him. He was left partially paralysed, leading to Alabama governor Robert Bentley writing an apology letter to Government of India.

This isn't a stray case of an Indian coming under attack on foreign land. In the last three years (2013-2015) 276 Indians have come under attack, like the series of attacks reported on money-lending Indians in Philippines in 2013.

According to statistics from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), there 115 have been such incidents, which took the lives of at least 57 Indians. These statistics refer specifically to Indians losing life after they've been attacked, although not all of them may be racist attacks in the pure sense.

The MEA also maintains statistics separately for deaths (mostly natural) of Indian origin people in foreign countries. With a huge diaspora, that number is huge. In the first 10 weeks of 2016 alone, 1,613 such people have been reported dead. The number for 2013, 2014 and 2015 stand at 7,433, 7,691 and 8,312, respectively.

The maximum number of deaths due to incidents where Indians were under attack was reported in the US. The next highest number of deaths of Indians under attack in a country were reported in the following five countries — South Africa, Yemen, Mozambique, Kenya and Afghanistan.

There have been attacks in other countries too. Karnataka's IT professional Prabha Shetty, 39, for example was stabbed to death in Australia last March while she was speaking with her husband in Bengaluru.

MEA maintains that the Indian Missions in such countries are prompt in taking up the issues with local authorities. "Our Missions/Posts also take follow-up action, including arranging security, providing shelter where required and also extending consular assistance to the affected Indians," the document reads, while adding that there is effective intervention to ensure proper investigation of cases.
Among the 30 countries that the MEA has enlisted, the US has the most number of incidents at 15, followed by Maldives at 14 where even the car of the Indian High Commissioner was attacked in 2013. All the other nations have recorded incidents in single digits.
As for the number of Indians under attack, the highest number was reported by Philippines (55), followed by Iraq (41), Yemen (26) and the US (20). The other countries reported less than 20 Indians under attack in the same period.

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