The Association of African Students in India (AASI) has lodged a strong protest against the criminal charges against five Nigerian nationals who were arrested on Saturday following the death of a Class 12 boy in UP’s Greater Noida.

In a terse five-point statement, the student body has alleged that despite several assurances, India has failed to ensure the safety of African nationals and threatened that it would write to the African union to cut trade ties with India. The body also said that it will inform all concerned media houses in their respective countries over increasing racism in India. It also warned that it will ask students to not make India their education destination.

Here is the complete statement

The Association of African students in India is calling on the government of India to taking concrete steps to protect the lives and properties of all African students in India, and especially in Uttar Pradesh following the recent false allegations laid on five Nigerian students.

* We are tired of the appeasement and promises made by the Indian government and therefore we will be taking stringent actions.
* Failure to secure the lives of African students and to ensure maximum security in areas where African students live, we will write to the African Union to cut all bilateral trade with India.
* We will ensure that all the local media houses in our respective countries get details of the growing racism which African students are facing in India.
* We will ensure that a detailed report on the barbaric racism African students are facing in India is sent to the high levels of all African governments and heads of state.
* We will ask African students in our respective countries to stop making India their study destination with immediate effect.
* We will call for a nationwide protest inviting all international media houses.

Samuel T. Jack
President (AASI)
Association of African Students in India.

The statement by AASI came amid reports of a spate of attacks on African Nationals in Greater Noida that has left at least nine of them seriously injured. On Monday evening, the family and locals conducted a candlelight vigil from NSG Society to Pari Chowk to demand the arrest of the accused foreign nationals.

But the protest turned violent when a section of mob attacked three Nigerians at Pari Chowk. Two Nigerians at Honda city also came under attack, one of them had to be rushed to hospital. The word was out that the mob is looking for Nigerians to thrash them. The police later resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the protesters
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also sought a report from UP government on the matter.

“I have asked for a report from Government of Uttar Pradesh about the reported attack on African students in Noida.” she said in a tweet.

It all started with the death of Manish Khari, a Class 12 student in Greater Noida, who went missing on Friday evening. His family and friends set out to find him. Meanwhile, someone claimed that the boy was seen with the five Nigerians living in the neighbourhood. The crowd barged into their shelter and could not find the missing boy. It led to a rumour that the Nigerians have killed and eaten the boy (cannibalism), the scroll reported. Police officials, however, have denied to comment on the claim. Khari later returned home at his NSG Black Cat Enclave.

But he was in a highly intoxicated state (seeming of a drug overdose) and had to be rushed to the hospital where he died on Saturday. After his death, the family accused the Nigerians of having provided drug to the deceased and insisted on pressing murder charges against the five Nigerians,

On Saturday, around 500 residents and RWAs of Greater Noida societies, marched to the SSP office and complained about ‘police inaction’. The accused were taken into custody on Saturday but due to lack of concrete evidence, the accused were let off on Sunday. Meanwhile, dozens of African students held a demonstration at Greater Noida’s Kasna police station protesting the murder charge.