Indian Envoy Summoned Over Attacks On Nigerian Students Near Delhi


Recently, some Indians protesting the death of a student over alleged drug overdose attacked Nigerian students in India. After attacks on these students in Greater Noida near Delhi, the country has asked India to ensure the immediate arrest and prosecution of those responsible. According to the Nigerian media, the Indian High Commissioner was summoned over the attacks. In a series of attacks since Monday, at least five Nigerian students have been assaulted by mobs in Greater Noida.

Also, three students were attacked by a large group that had taken out a protest march over the death of a 17-year-old schoolboy, Manish Khatri, allegedly of a drug overdose. The attackers alleged that Nigerians in the neighbourhood were responsible for the drug problem.

In a second attack the same day, a Nigerian student was assaulted by a mob inside the Ansal Plaza mall. In extremely disturbing footage caught on mobile phone, the student was beaten with a steel dustbin and stools, and repeatedly punched and kicked by the attackers. He was eventually rushed to the hospital after the arrival of the policemen. Meanwhile, the Association of African Students of India, has asked African students in Noida to stay at home and not attend classes.

The Nigerian government has expressed concern that its students were beaten and “many of them seriously injured” given the “excellent relationship between the two countries.” The government didn’t expect such act from Indians despite their cordial relationship.

“We are condemning racial attacks on Indians in other countries, like US and Australia. Racial attacks in our own country cannot be justified. Very strong action must be taken. No Indian will justify it. The government should be very vigilant,” said Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien.

In addition, a foreign ministry official mentioned that Monday’s savage beating of its nationals in India wasn’t the first time something like that happened.

“This is not the first time …Nigerians have suffered similar attack in the past; so, what we will like to see on this occasion is that the perpetrator should be arrested,” said Olushola Enikanolaiye, permanent secretary, ministry of foreign affairs, at a meeting in Abuja with Nagabushana Reddy, India’s high commissioner to Nigeria.

The Nigerian foreign ministry official said the incident was all the more shocking given the high level of friendship between India and Nigeria.
“It is…a concern to us that Nigerian students in that place were harassed, beaten up and many of them were seriously injured…We think this should not have happened considering the excellent relationship between the two of us – the two countries have things in common and have been great friends,” he said.

The Indian government needs to ensure the immediate arrest and prosecution of those responsible for attacks, Enikanolaiye said, adding that it would “serve as a deterrent to others and forestall future occurrences.”

“And we want to see diligent prosecution so that it would serve as a deterrent to those who think they can take laws into their hands and harass students who are going about their studies. That is why we felt we should register our concern to you on this occasion, and to please ask your government to take effective measures that this does not occur again.” He further explained.

Police say five people have been arrested over the attacks. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had assured that there will be “fair and impartial investigation into this unfortunate incident”. However, India government felt ashamed at the incident and is trying hard to curb the situation promising that such incident will not happen again.

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