African students in Greater Noida advised to skip college
Greater Noida is home to around 4,000 students from Africa who are enrolled in various private universities in the national capital region. Taking cognizance of the escalating tension, the police deployed more than 200 personnel at important intersections, educational institutions and recreational spots from Tuesday morning.noida Updated: Mar 29, 2017 10:03 IST
The African association of students of India (AASI) has asked African nationals studying in colleges of Greater Noida to skip college until the police provide them security. The advisory was issued even after a meeting was held between African nationals and locals at the district magistrate’s office.
Meanwhile, the Noida police nabbed seven persons and booked over 300 persons in connection with the attacks on African nationals in Greater Noida on Monday evening. The police have registered three FIRs in the incident, under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting using deadly weapons), 149 (unlawful assembly) and 364 (kidnapping) against those who resorted to violence during a peaceful candle march.
Sujata Singh, the superintendent of police (rural), said that those responsible for the attacks will be nabbed soon. “We are investigating the matter seriously and viewing each and every video footage to grab those responsible quickly. Seven of the nine accused who are named have been arrested,” she said.
Greater Noida is home to around 4,000 students from Africa who are enrolled in various private universities in the national capital region.
Taking cognizance of the escalating tension, the police deployed more than 200 personnel at important intersections, educational institutions and recreational spots from Tuesday morning.
“We are hopeful that the situation will improve, as per the administration’s assurances. Yet, it is too early to advise students to resume their normal life. Many are terrified due to the recent violence,” Goodwill, a Nigerian national and a representative of AASI, said.
The district magistrate, NP Singh, refused to term the recent attacks as a hate crime. “Till now, I have never received any complaints against African nationals and I was shocked to know that the residents’ associations have issues with foreign citizens. Had they approached us in the beginning, such a situation would have never arisen,” Singh said.
A meeting was also held among the officials of district administration, police, residential societies, educational institutions and African students on Tuesday evening in an attempt to restore peace in the city.
“We have been constantly monitoring the situation since the violence on Monday evening. We patrolled the streets till early morning and another group of police personnel has joined us from 9am. The onus is on us to ensure the safety of all residents, local or foreign,” Avnish Dixit, station house officer, Kasna, said.
“We are sending a message to all African students — that they are 100% safe in Greater Noida,” Dixit said.
African nationals, however, expressed their concern over racial attacks in Greater Noida. “We want to categorically state that we want to live in harmony with the Indian community. However, due to a prejudice and lack of mutual respect, the number of hate crime incidents is increasing,” Mark Henry, a Nigerian national who participated in the meeting, said.