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Police Have the Duty to Protect Lives and Properties of both Citizens and Foreigners
The Indian communities living in Freetown are running scared after the event that took place at 20 Guard Street on Sunday March 17th 2019 featuring an Indian national.
In the wake of the unfortunate incident, irrational people have taken upon themselves to put the lives and properties of Indians living in Freetown in jeopardy by threatening to ransack their shops and business premises.
It is most unfortunate also that a group of unscrupulous Nigerian DVD marketers have rushed to print plates of the alleged crime scene, the suspects and the alleged victim and put them out for sale while the matter is under police investigation.
Although the police at the press conference declared that attacking Indians for a crime allegedly committed by one individual is not only considered unfair but absolute criminality; it does not send the right message to those Sierra Leoneans that have declared vengeance against innocent Indians living in our community who largely are paying a very vital role in the country’s economy by not only providing the populace with essential imported goods and services but also do a lot of local manufacturing whilst at the same time creating thousands of jobs for Sierra Leoneans that otherwise would be unemployed and a burden to government and society, as well as and tax revenue to government and the local councils.
As far as can be seen, though the police have said that are out and about patrolling the streets, as usual, and are under strict instruction to arrest anyone found to be attacking any Indians in our society; this does not seem to have dispelled the threatening atmosphere that the Indians who are afraid to open their shops and businesses have been subjected to.
Meanwhile, with the government of President Bio very fussy about portraying a clean human rights image to the international community in pursuit of his pronouncement that Sierra Leone is a safe destination for investors and business people, it is proper that the public, as urged by the police, disregard all the social media stuff making rounds in respect of this incident.
As such, the Police are called upon to increase the presence of Operations Support Division personnel in the areas where the Indians have their shops and businesses in Freetown to ensure that the lives and properties of the Indians are not subject to threat from lawless elements that are always ready to take advantage of the situation.
The press is also called upon to report on this very sensitive inter-racial matter with fairness and objectivity in order not to help stir up public disorder and xenophobia against Indians living in our country.
Meanwhile, the Consulate of India and the Indian community in Sierra Leone have issued the following press release:
WE THE MEMBERS OF THE INDIAN COMMUNITY HEREBY STATE THAT WE HAVE BEEN MADE AWARE OF THE GRUESOME INCIDENT THAT TOOK PLACE AT GUARD STREET BY AN INDIAN CITIZEN AND TWOSIERRA LEONEANS ON SUNDAY MARCH 17TH, 2019.
WE, AS A COMMUNITY, CONDEMN ALL FORMS OF VIOLENCE AND WOULD LIKE THE PUBLIC TO KNOW THAT WE WOULD SUPPORT THE POLICE IN THEIR ON-GOING INVESTIGATION SP THAT THE CULPRITS FACE THE FULL CONSEQUENCES OF THE LAW.
WE ARE LAW ABIDING CITIZENS AND HAVE LIVED IN PEACE AND HARMONY WITH THE CITIXENS OF SIERRA LEONE FOR OVER 100 YEARS.
WE ALSO WISH TO CONVEY TO THE VICTIMS, THEIR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS, OUR WHOLE-HEARTED SUPPORT AS THE SITUATION HAS EQUALLY SHOCKED US, AND WE WISH TO THANK THE GOVERNMENT OF SIERRA LEONE AND THE SIERRA LEONE POLCE FOR THEIR TIMELY INTERVENTION N ADDRESSING THE SITUATION.
WE ASK ALL TO REMAIN CALM, ND LET THE POLICE D THE INVESTIGATION.
WE HAVE LIVED IN HARMONY WITH THE PEOPLE OF SIERA LEONE AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO.
The Press Release is signed by Harish Agnani for the Consulate of India and Rajesh Hemnani for the Indian Community.