A court in Punjab on Wednesday remanded to judicial custody two Africans, who were tied to pole with a rope for an hour and beaten up by a mod and policemen for allegedly trying to steal money from a shop.
At a time a debate is raging on hate crimes following Africans nationals in Delhi crying discrimination, the case has hogged the headlines for the treatment meted out to the youth.
They were identified as Irakarama Aiaier, a resident of Rwanda, and Sinarinli Alain, a resident of Burundi. Aiaier, Alain and one Ncuti Roger, another Rwanda resident, are accused of an attempted robbery on Tuesday at a grocery shop in Jalandhar.
While the first two were held, Roger managed to escape.
A policeman beats up two African nationals accused in an attemped theft case in Jalandhar on Tuesday. (HT Photo)
Even though the arrested have claimed to be students of bachelor of computer applications course at Lovely Professional University (LPU), the university authorities have denied this.
"They are not our students right now. The two arrested were the BCA second year students in the university till March last year, but then they stopped coming to the university," said LPU deputy director Aman Mittal.
The police conducted on Wednesday raids at the paying guest accommodation in where the three were staying.
The police investigation found the two arrested were living in Jalandhar, even as their visa expired a few months ago and they had not applied for an extension.
The police have also sent e-mails to the embassies of Burundi and Rwanda to find out the status of their visa details.
Meanwhile, the assault on the two African nationals has triggered a debate, putting the spotlight on the role of the authorities concerned in such cases. This is the third major case involving African students in the state in as many years. They were tied to a pole with a rope and assaulted for an hour before the police intervened.
In April 2012, Yannick Ntibateganya, a Burundi national, was brutally beaten up by nine locals. He died in June this year after remaining in coma for more than two years.
In June 2013, police booked 21 African students following a brawl with a Jalandhar-based resident.
Local BJP MLA Manoranjan Kalia said, "I am surprised at the casual way in which the local police have been dealing with the presence of foreign students. Why are the police not maintaining a proper record of their presence in different localities? The educational institutes must keep the local administration updated about the whereabouts of these students."
The African youth who were tied to a pole and beaten up for theft in Jalandhar. (HT Photo)