African nationals stay away from public places in Greater Noida
The unruly mob had thrashed at least five African students in Greater Noida’s Ansal Plaza on Monday night. Following the attack, the African Association of students of India (AASI) had issued an advisory on social media, asking African students to avoid going to college.noida Updated: Mar 29, 2017 10:03 IST
A majority of the African nationals stayed indoors on Tuesday, following a racial attack by locals on Monday evening.
Several African nationals were attacked on Monday evening during a candle march by residents seeking justice for 17-year-old Manish Khari, who died of a heart stroke due to an alleged overdose of drugs.
The unruly mob had thrashed at least five African students in Greater Noida’s Ansal Plaza on Monday night. Following the attack, the African Association of students of India (AASI) had issued an advisory on social media, asking African students to avoid going to college.
The repercussions of the attack and AASI advisory were visible on Monday as African nationals were not seen in busy marketplaces or even in educational institutions in Knowledge Park of Greater Noida.
Many students had preferred to stay indoors in sectors Delta-1 and Beta-2, where they usually stay in paying guest accommodations. Tension and sense of fear prevailed among African national students living in Greater Noida.
“We are extremely scared after the attack and have decided to skip college for a few days. Unless the police provide us protection, things will not improve,” Bakula, a commerce student of Noida International University, said.
Goodwill, a chemist of Nigerian origin who is based in Greater Noida, said that many students and working professionals of African origin had shared their desire to leave India. “I have been receiving text messages from friends staying in Delhi-NCR that they want to leave India, after the violence. Due to a deep-seated prejudice and racism, we have been attacked time and again,” said Goodwill.
Following the boycott of colleges by African students, the district administration assured students of safety in Greater Noida.
“I have spoken to the students and representatives of AASI and assured them that they are most welcome to stay and pursue their dreams in the district. India has always considered guests as divine (’Athithi Devo Bhava’),” NP Singh, district magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar, said.
The administrations of universities also assured African students of their safety on their campuses.
“There are 150-200 African nationals studying in Sharda University. After the attack, we have invited all day scholars to live in our hostel rooms. If they do not want to attend college, we will not cut their attendance. We have also started three helplines for foreign students to reach out for help,” Ajit Kumar, spokesperson, Sharda University, said.
“Every week, we organise interactive classes between foreign students and Indian students, wherein they get to learn about others’ cultures and traditions. We also have a monthly meeting with foreign students to solve their problems. All students of African nationalities are safe on Amity campus,” Savita Mehta, spokesperson for Amity University, said.