Uganda Police Press and Public Relations Officer Fred Enanga yesterday denied claims circulated by the Times of India newspaper that and Indian was killed in Kampala in an apparent “hate crime” by a local on Thursday night returning home with his wife after Navratri celebrations.
On Saturday, The newspaper reported that “Michael Fernandes (55) and his wife Clara, originally from Andheri, had been in the Ugandan capital for 10 years.
On Thursday, after Michael returned from work, Clara insisted on attending Navratri celebrations organized by the Indian community there.
After attending the function, the two, along with a Gujarati couple, were on their way home in Kamwokya around 11.30pm.”
Then “a group of Ugandan men started following the couples and began abusing them on Mawanda Road. The Indians ignored the remarks and continued walking. Soon, a member of the gang came from behind and hit Michael on the head with an iron rod. He collapsed. The men fled. Michael was taken to hospital in a motorcycle, known locally as boda-boda. He was declared dead before admission.”
In a press statement, Enanga said that Police was called in 37 minutes at 00:17 hours after the victim had been rushed to Victoria Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“The killing is being speculated in some sections of the media including the Times of India as a hate crime, but now appears to be an isolated incident perpetrated by a gang of iron bar thugs who target victims in vulnerable situations includes late night movements to steal from them,” he said.
He said Police “regrets” the incident and has put full resources behind this case that has attracted some positive results.