A game of football at Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Phagwara, Punjab, turned into a battle on Tuesday, resulting in the death of Johny F Lalhmangaih Zuala (22), a B Tech (civil) second-year student from Mizoram.
It was learnt that a football match, Sudan Vs Mizoram, was in progress, when Johny scored a goal against the Sudanese team, irking the rival players. Soon a heated argument snowballed into an altercation.
The Sudan team members started kicking Johny till he fainted and had to be rushed to a local private hospital, where he was declared dead.
Around midnight, students from Mizoram came out in large numbers and started raising slogans, demanding ouster of students from African countries.
SP Kamaljeet Singh Dhillon said the three accused — Hashim Idrish and Ahmed Althani belonging to the Republic of Sudan and Syed Faizal of United Republic of Tanzania — had been arrested.
The Mizo Zirlai Pawl (students’ union) denounced the incident. “This is another instance of local administration failing to ensure the safety of students who have no alternative but to move out of their homes to pursue higher studies,” said a union spokesperson in a statement.
Tuikhuahthanga, treasurer of the Mizoram Football Association said, “Violence always mars professional football matches, which is unsporting, and what is more unfortunate is that a friendly match between university students could result in such a horrible crime.”
Expressing grief over the death, Rashmi Mittal, pro-chancellor, LPU, said, “Students didn’t play in the spirit of the game, which led to the irreparable loss of a bright student.” “We were there with the victim till the end and tried our best to save him. The university has expelled the accused students and got an FIR registered against them.”