Four Nigerian students were allegedly attacked by residents who took out a candle-light march for a 17-year-old boy who had died last week due to suspected drug overdose. The protest march was taken out after police released some Nigerians detained for questioning in connection with the death of the Class 12 student, Manish, in Greater Noida’s NSG Black Cats Enclave due to “lack of evidence”.

The boy’s parents had alleged that the foreigners had kidnapped him and given him drugs which caused his death.

Sujata Singh, Superintendent of Police, Greater Noida said the protesters became violent during the march and started beating up the Africans they saw on the road.

“They also went to Ansal Mall and caused havoc and beat up Africans there. Police then rescued them and moved them to a safe place,” she said.

“Police had to use force to dissuade people from attacking and arrested 5 people from the spot. Many of them who were there trying to play mischief have been identified as the entire event had been videographed. An FIR has been registered and action will be taken accordingly,” Daljit Chaudhary, ADG Law and Order, told reporters here.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the central government was taking immediate action and that she had spoken to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who had assured her of a fair and impartial investigation into this “unfortunate” incident.

The Greater Noida Superintendent of Police said the police had not yet given a clean chit to the Nigerian nationals accused by the victim’s parents.

Claiming that the Greater Noida incident was a “hate crime”, an association of African students Tuesday demanded that they be provided adequate security in the country.

“In Greater Noida, they (locals) say that Africans ‘we don’t want you to be here anymore’. These are actually hate crimes towards African community. Africans are not secure in this country,” Association of African Students President Samuel Jack said.