|Nigerians attacked in India. Photo credit: Kingsley Blacgold|
African students in India have decried the ‘barbaric racism’ against Nigerians in the South Asian country and threatened to lodge a formal complaint with the African Union.
The students who are members of the Association of African Students in India (AASI) have said they will also send a report to all heads of governments in African countries.
According to The Times of India, the association asked the Government of India to take concrete steps to protect the lives and properties of all African students in India, and especially in Uttar Pradesh following the recent false allegations against five Nigerian students.
“We are tired of the appeasement and promises made by the Indian government and therefore we will be taking stringent actions,” the association president Samuel T. Jack said outlining what AASI would do.
The association will write to the African Union countries to cut all bi-lateral trade with India if the country did not secure the lives of African student and ensure maximum security in areas where African students live.
“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 also send a detailed report on the barbaric racism African students are facing in India to the high levels of all African governments and heads of state,” the association said.
While announcing that a nation wide protest would be held in India, the association said it would also ask African students to stop making India their study destination with immediate effect.
The African Students Association, Telangana, told TOI that a peaceful protest would also be organised in Hyderabad.
Meanwhile the government of India has condemned the attack on Nigerians in Uttar Pradesh’s Greater Noida.
Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj asked the state government to conduct an investigation into the incident.
The incident once again put the spotlight on the racial prejudice that is regularly displayed by Indians.
In a statement, MEA spokesperson described the incident as “deplorable”.
The spokesman said Sushma Swaraj had spoken to the UP CM Yogi Adityanath, who has promised a quick and “fair” investigation. “Law enforcement authorities of the district have made arrests and are investigating into this matter. They are also taking necessary steps to keep the situation under control.”
Meanwhile, minister of state for external affairs MJ Akbar met the acting high commissioner of Nigeria and assured her of action.
The video footage of the mob attack on the African students spurred both the state and central governments into action.
Earlier, an African student, Sadiq Bello, in obviously a desperate appeal, tweeted to Swaraj, “@SushmaSwaraj as an international student in Noida, you need to act fast as living for us in Noida is becoming a life threatening issue.”
The African Students Association asked all African students in Noida and greater Noida to remain indoors until better security is provided to them.
Times of India/NAN