The High Commissioner of Kenya in New Delhi was also called into the Ministry to convey India’s concerns in the matter…reports Asian Lite News
Indian High Commissioner to Kenya, Namgya Khampa met Kenyan President William Samoei Ruto to discuss the progress in investigation related to the disappearance of two Indian nationals in Nairobi. He expressed “deep concern” regarding the case.
Zulfiqar Ahmad Khan, who had been with Balaji Telefilms, and his friend Mohamed Zaid Sami Kidwai, part of the Kenya Kwanza digital campaign team, went missing with taxi driver Nicodemus Mwania from Mombasa Road on July 21.
Authorities in Kenya on Monday, produced four police officials in the court, related to the disappearance. The arrested police officials include the head of the now disbanded Special Services Unit (SSU), who had a reputation for being trigger happy and his other team members.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted the details of the meeting and developments in the case late night on Monday. He informed that officials of the recently disbanded Special Service Unit of the Kenya Police have been taken into custody for questioning. “The case is under active investigation by the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) of Kenyan Police. We have noted that several people have been taken into custody in this connection including officials of the recently abolished Special Service Unit of the Kenyan Police.”
Earlier, quoting a close aide of Kenyan President Ruto media reported that that the duo had been killed by the disbanded special service unit. There is no official confirmation, though.
The full statement of Arinadam Bagchi read, “We have been in regular touch with the Kenyan Government to locate the whereabouts of the two missing Indian nationals, Mr. Mohammad Zaid Sami Kidwai and Mr. Zulfiqar Ahmed Khan. Our High Commissioner in Nairobi, Ms. Namgya Khampa, today called on President H.E. Mr. William Samoei Ruto to convey our deep concern and request the expediting of investigations into the matter.”
The High Commissioner of Kenya in New Delhi was also called into the Ministry on October 23 to convey our concerns in the matter.
“Our High Commission in Kenya is in touch with the family members of the two Indians and assisting them. The case is under active investigation by the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) of Kenyan Police. We have noted that several people have been taken into custody in this connection including officials of the recently abolished Special Service Unit of the Kenyan Police. The specific circumstances surrounding the abduction and subsequent lack of information is very disturbing. We expect that the case will be investigated thoroughly. The Ministry continues to monitor all developments related to this case.”
MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi further said that the case is under active investigation by the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) of the Kenyan Police. We have noted that several people have been taken into custody in this connection, including officials of the recently abolished Special Service Unit of the Kenyan Police, he added.
Kidwai and Khan, who were part of the Kenya Kwanza digital campaign team, went missing alongside taxi driver Nicodemus Mwania from Mombasa Road in July. They have been missing ever since.
Is Kenya safe for Indians?
“I’ve spent one year and seven months in Nairobi and from that, I can say Nairobi is pretty much safe for Indians. However, always have a local Kenyan person to accompany you and keep your car windows shut,” Atul Jha, who lived in Nairobi from 2016 to 2018, said.
“Kenya has a big community of Indians. It is safe for Indians or any other expatriate to live and work here,” Om Sharma, who keeps travelling to Kenya for work said.
In a 2017 incident that led to widespread outrage in Kenya, a 32-year-old businessman of Indian origin Bunty Shah was shot dead by the police inside his home in a case of mistaken identity. He was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.
Bunty Shah belonged to a Gujarati family that owns Bobmil Industries Ltd, a mattress manufacturing company in Nairobi.
In a similar case recently, Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif was shot dead in a “case of mistaken identity”.
But what shook the Indian community was a 2013 terrorist attack on Westgate centre in Kenya by al-Shabab militants, which killed three Indians, including an eight-year-old boy, and left many others injured.
One of the victims, 40-year-old Sridhar Natarajan was working with a pharma firm, the boy Paramshu Jain was the son of a manager of the local Bank of Baroda branch. The third victim, Sudharshan B. Nagaraj, was from Bengaluru.
In the 2008 violence that erupted after former President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner of the presidential election, looting of Indian shops were reported in Kenya.
As such, there is no official travel advisory from the Indian side and hundreds of Indians are doing business and jobs in Kenya.
However, a US government advisory released this month says that crime is high in Kenya, and incidents of armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping and muggings are seen in Nairobi and Mombasa.
“Local police are willing but often lack the capability to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents and terrorist attacks,” the advisory noted.
An Australian travel advisory updated today said: “Don’t walk around after dark. If you live in Kenya, invest in strong personal security measures… Attacks could occur at any time and with little or no warning”.
Close to a lakh people living in Kenya are Indians, and they wield considerable political and economic power. The Indians also make up the 44th tribe in Kenya.