Police in the Indian capital has launched an investigation after a disturbing video surfaced on Monday (9 October) showing a mob mercilessly beating a Nigerian national. A man, who was part of the mob, has been arrested, police said.
Local media reports stated that the video was from 24 September, but the police became aware of the beating only after it went viral on Monday.
Police reportedly said that the Nigerian national — identified as Ahmad living in Delhi's Lajpat Nagar area — was handed over to them by a group of residents of the area, who accused him of burglary. The group did not reveal that they beat him up before handing him in and instead, they told police that he sustained injuries to his body after falling off stairs while attempting to flee the crime scene. The victim had also not spoken about the beating, police added.
The video (graphic content, viewer discretion advised) showed Ahmad pleading to the angry mob, saying "forgive me", but the mob continued to thrash him with sticks as the man was tied to a pole.
Voices heard in the background were egging the mob to further assault the man, according to the Hindustan Times newspaper.
The video prompted Delhi police to file a separate case of assault against the mob, following which the prime complainant — one Krishan Kumar — was arrested, police said. Kumar had accused Ahmad of breaking into his house and attempting a theft.
"We registered the case as soon as we verified the video, which went viral on Monday. One of the accused, Krishan Kumar, has been arrested while three others have been identified," Deputy commissioner of police (south Delhi), Ishwar Singh, told the Indian Express newspaper.
Singh confirmed that Ahmad never told police or the doctors that he had been beaten up by the mob. Ahmad was charged with attempted burglary and presented before the court soon after his arrest. The court has ordered him to be sent to police custody.
Revealing details of the day of the alleged incident, Singh said that police received a call around 4.10am local time (11.40pm BST previous day) on 24 September about an alleged burglary attempt in Savitri Nagar area in south Delhi.
"When local police reached the spot, Ahmad was bleeding. Residents told us that while fleeing the spot, he fell to the ground and suffered injuries to his head and body.
"Instead of telling us that he was beaten up, he hid the fact. He did not share any details except his name and the country he comes from. As soon he revealed that he is a Nigerian national, we informed the Nigerian embassy," Singh added.
The embassy has not made any comments on the case yet. Rumours emerged that this was yet another case of a racist attack targeting Nigerian nationals, who have been assaulted by the angry mob in Delhi in two separate incidents earlier this year.
IBTimes UK has reached out to the embassy for their comments and more information on the Nigerian national seen in the video, and are awaiting their response.