India: Mob attacks Nigerians, accusing them of cannibalism

Culled from The Telegraph, Calcutta; Submitted by Yucee Okoronkwo

— New Delhi, March 28: At least nine Africans have been seriously injured in mob violence in Greater Noida since last night in a fallout of Friday’s raid on Nigerian students by local people who accused them of cannibalism, a local Nigerian association said.
It said seven Nigerian passers-by were attacked this evening at Pari Chowk at the heart of Greater Noida by a mob of about 100, which was demanding the government expel all Africans because of their alleged cannibalism and drug abuse.

Two other Nigerians were assaulted last night, by three masked men who had arrived on a motorcycle, in front of a private hostel in Zeta I sector of Greater Noida, 40km from Delhi. They were admitted to Sharda Hospital.

The Association of African Students in India has alleged a third attack. It has uploaded on WhatsApp a video of an African man being beaten by a mob, apparently in Noida’s Ansal Plaza, sometime today.

Police sources said an FIR of attempted murder had been registered and five men detained.

The Association of African Students in India has issued an advisory to all Africans in Greater Noida to stay indoors and threatened to publicise worldwide the continuing “racism” Africans face in India.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj today tweeted: “I have asked for a report from Government of Uttar Pradesh about the reported attack on African students in Noida.”

On Friday, a mob at the National Security Guards Black Cat Enclave in Greater Noida had raided a flat occupied by five Nigerian students after a 19-year-old Class XII student, Manish Khari, went missing.

Two of the Nigerians were present when the mob entered their home, accused them of cannibalism and searched their refrigerator. The police took both into protective custody.

After Manish was found semi-conscious on the greens off the Yamuna Expressway the next day and later died in hospital of “unknown poisoning”, his parents lodged an FIR accusing the five Nigerians of murder, abduction and administering narcotics to him.

The police released the two Nigerians only on Sunday, following protests by African students. Officers confirmed that the cannibalism rumours were false and there was no evidence to link the Nigerians to Manish’s mysterious death.

None of the Nigerians who live in the flat that was raided were among those attacked last night or this evening.

Last night, Auwal Aliyu and Suraj Abdullahi were taking a walk after dinner when they were accosted, asked their names and thrashed with hockey sticks and baseball bats.

In a statement, Association of African Students president Samuel Jack said the organisation would take five steps to build pressure on the government.

Yucee Okoronkw, a Ph.D candidate lives in India.