Nigerians asked to stay indoors: sighting attacks in Greater Noida

India is a country of diverse cultures and traditions with people of every religion, speaking any language residing in peace and harmony. However, in the recent past, many hate crimes against foreign nationals have come into the limelight where the public has taken action against the foreign nationals of Africa.

In the past few days, multiple reports of criticism, against Africans, are going round the corner. African students studying in Greater Noida have been on Indian citizen’s radar for a long time since universities in Greater Noida have started developing with over 6,000 African students residing in nearby areas. This time, a group of Africans were attacked by a mob at a mall in Greater Noida.

The whole matter started when the death of a 17-year-old boy came into news who suffered a cardiac attack in the hospital after he went missing on 24th March 2017 and was found in an unstable state on 26th March 2017. He was then thus rushed to hospital wherein the doctors confirmed that he had overdosed on drugs and people raised their brows at some Nigerian students residing in the same society as theirs. Some Nigerian students studying in a college there had been arrested on charges of kidnap and culpable homicide. They were later released due to unavailability of proof.

On 27th March 2017, four African students were attacked and beaten up brutally at Ansal Plaza mall by a mob which was carrying a protest march against Africans at Pari chowk in a bid to get justice for the boy. When the mob got hold of the Nigerians passing on a road, they turned violent and started beating them. Then they moved to Ansal Plaza mall and did the same there. But then, police was informed about the incident. They reached and rescued the Nigerians and took them to a safer place. 1000 people have been booked by now with 5 being arrested. Police had to use mild force to dissuade people from attacking and tighter security was also provided to the people of the community living in nearby localities. District Administration has deployed forces at localities inhabited by the foreign students.

External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj has turned to UP CM Yogi Adityanath who has assured probe into the matter and has also ensured the community of due justice. But The Association of African Students President has asked the students to stay at home and not attend classes on 28th via Facebook post and have also accused India and Indians of such hate crimes wherein people have asked them to go out of India as they don’t deserve to stay here. This has also resulted in a speculation that Africans might not now come to India for higher education regarding safety issues.

But the district administration has refuted all claims that it was a hate crime incident. They claim that it happened at moment due to death of a child and was not a pre- planned act. DM of Greater Noida has said that they are organising a meeting with local RWAs, colleges and Nigerian students’ representatives to maintain peace.

Such an incident in a country like ours is bringing upon bad light and security of outside community people needs to be taken care of, keeping in mind that Indian kids study abroad, as well. People have no right to take law in their hands and thus, should also be punished for doing such things and also disrespecting people from outside countries coming to India. Taking the law into their hands, the mob has violated many rules and can be booked against them. This isn’t the first time that the public has taken action against an innocent, and many incidents of the death of the victim have also come up in the past.

Catching and punishing the criminal is the police’s job. Once people attack an accused, they become criminals themselves. The police needs to take quick actions to avoid such incidents where the public takes over; while, the public needs to abide the law and not become law breakers themselves.

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