With the incessant attacks on Nigerians and other Africans living and schooling in India in a new wave of xenophobia, some Nigerian students have cried out.
This call is coming on the heel of recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africans living in the Asian country following the death of a teenager identified as Manish Khari, who was found dead outside his house in NSG colony of Greater Noida.
The family members of the deceased alleged that five Nigerians had kidnapped him and drugged him, leading to his death.
Hindustan Times reports that the family members staged a protest on Saturday, March 25, 2017, at Kasna police station demanding that the suspects be arrested immediately.
The injured Nigerian students
Photo Credit: True Viber
On the evening of Monday, March 27, the family with the support from locals in the area, organized a candlelight march and when the crowd reached Pari Chowk in Greater Noida, few protestors attacked a car passing by with four African people.
That same Monday, four Nigerian students were reportedly mobbed by locals with some of them beaten with sticks and chairs till they became unconscious in the presence of security men who did not go to their aid.
Three Nigerian students, Endurance Amarawa, Ibgiya Malu Chukwuma and Precious Amalcima were seriously injured during the attack from the crowd.
With the seeming apathy of the Nigerian government and the reluctance of their High Commission to wade into the matter, the Nigerian students in the area have cried out that their lives are in danger.
One of such students shared details of the attack and what they are currently going through in the hands of the Indians:
"I am a student of Sharda University in Greater Noida, India. On Saturday, March 25th, 2017, an Indian teenager of class 12 was reported dead due to cardiac arrest caused by drug overdose.
An injured Nigerian student receiving treatment
Photo Credit: Indian Express
His parents began to suspect that his Nigerian friends were the people who supplied the drugs to him.
His family reported to the police officers about the current situation. The police later picked up the 5 Nigerian students for questioning.
After further investigations, no evidence was found to link the students to the incident, so they were released.
On Monday, 27th March 2017, in the evening, a Nigerian student from Benin went to Ansal plaza in Greater Noida, India, to purchase something. On getting there, he was attacked by over 200 Indians and was beaten seriously with all sorts of things.
And this happened in a mall! Was there no security? It was really BRUTAL! He was later rescued by the police and taken to the hospital.
Later that evening, a person from Eastern Nigeria (Igbo) was attacked in his car, by breaking of his car glass in order to penetrate and he was beaten seriously and injured.
Ever since this incident, the African Union of India has instructed all Africans to remain indoor till further notice.
1. We are unable to go to school for lectures.
2. We are unable to buy food stuff.
3. We have been indoors for the past 2 days with the fear of losing our lives. It’s totally unbearable. We are only hoping on GOD. Our lives are in danger."
One of the injured Nigerian students
Photo Credit: India Today
The Indian police have, however, pleaded for calm, saying that five people have been arrested in connection with the attacks on the Nigerians.
A statement by the police reads:
'Five people were picked up from the spot after the incident; besides that, we have registered FIR against 44 other people who we suspect were part of the group.
Further investigations are on, appropriate force is deployed in the area. All the four Nigeria nationals who are students at colleges in Noida are safe. FIR under section IPC 145, 148(rioting), 304, 332(causing hurt), 504, 307(attempt to murder) and 153A(causing hurt based on race) has been registered by the police.'
President of the Association of African Students in India, Samuel Jack has also condemned the attack in a press briefing by saying:
This is a hate crime on the African community in the country; locals in Greater Noida say that they do not want Africans in their country anymore.
Samuel Jack addressing a press conference
Photo Credit: China Daily
These are actually hate crimes towards African community. Africans are not secure in this country."