Security measures relaxed in Greater Noida, Africans resume routine
Peace returned to Greater Noida after a week-long turmoil caused due to clashes between locals and Africans, following the death of 17-year-old Manish Khari due to a drug overdose. Amid relaxed security measures, African students resumed their classes and were seen commuting through public transport in Greater Noida.
“The situation has, more or less, turned normal. I travelled to Karol Bagh in New Delhi on Monday. My friends have also started moving freely in Greater Noida. We no longer feel threatened,” Anees, a Nigerian student pursuing B Tech from Noida International University, said.
Following the death of Manish Khari on March 27, residents had accused the Nigerians residing in their society of drugging the boy. Things took an ugly turn when a group of locals, carrying out a candlelight march, attacked Africans at Ansal Plaza Mall in Greater Noida. At least six Africans were injured in the attack.
Following the attack, the police had issued an advisory, asking Africans to refrain from travelling in Greater Noida. They had also deployed heavy security outside residential societies where Africans are residing. Africans were escorted by the police for their safety.
However, security measures were relaxed from Monday after the situation normalised. The police also organised ‘confidence building’ meets between Africans and locals across the city to ensure that they feel safe in Greater Noida.
“Till Sunday, Africans were escorted by police personnel for their safety. We had also issued an advisory asking them to avoid travelling alone. However, as the situation is totally under control, we have relaxed the security measures. However, PCR vans will continue to be stationed outside residential societies for safety,” Sujata Singh, superintendent of Police, (rural), said.
The Association of African Students in India (AASI) on Sunday also advised Africans living in Greater Noida to resume their studies and daily occupation.
“We call upon all Africans residing in Greater Noida to resume their studies and daily occupation. The police have assured us of a safe atmosphere and officers have been deployed to a satisfactory level. The situation in the city is under control. We appreciate the work of the police in providing assistance and support,” Samuel Jack, president of AASI, said.
Residents of Alstonia residential society, where more than 80 Africans reside, said that normalcy has been restored after a week-long of an apprehensive environment.
“We are feeling completely safe and now, we can travel on our own. We are planning to resume attending classes soon,” said David, a student pursuing BCA from Noida International University.
Ravi Kumar, a security guard at Alstonia, said, “Africans have resumed their daily routine and also other activities, such as partying. However, entry into the society is not allowed after 11pm. A PCR van is also stationed in the vicinity.”