International Students At Gujarat University Shifted To New Hostel Following Attack

International Students At Gujarat University Shifted To New Hostel Following Attack

The Gujarat University authorities have replaced the coordinator of its study abroad programme and NRI hostel warden with immediate effect

PTIUpdated: Monday, March 18, 2024, 02:13 PM IST
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In the wake of an attack on international students at the Gujarat University hostel for offering namaz there, the authorities have decided to shift them to a new hostel and have set up a foreign student advisory committee, an official said on Monday.

The university has also directed security agencies to deploy ex-Army personnel to strengthen the security of its hostel blocks, the official said.

Two persons, identified as Hitesh Mevada and Bharat Patel, were arrested on Sunday after students hailing from different foreign countries were attacked by a group of persons in the (government-run) Gujarat University's hostel for offering namaz there.

The police have intensified efforts to nab the others accused.

The Gujarat University authorities have replaced the coordinator of its study abroad programme and NRI hostel warden with immediate effect, its Vice Chancellor Neerja Gupta said.

The university has decided to shift international students to a different hostel meant for NRI (Non-Resident Indian) students within three days and has also directed security agencies to deploy ex-Army personnel to strengthen the security of its hostel blocks, she said.

The Gujarat University has also set up a foreign student advisory committee, with the coordinator of the study abroad programme, assistant registrar of the legal cell and the university Lokpal as its members, Gupta said.

Directions have also been issued to strengthen the university's security, she added.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Tarun Duggal said an investigation is underway using technical surveillance and other methods to nab the remaining accused persons involved in the incident.

Two students - one from Sri Lanka and another from Tajikistan - were hospitalised after the incident took place on Saturday night, as per the police.

An FIR was registered against 20-25 unidentified assailants under Indian Penal Code provisions for rioting, unlawful assembly, voluntarily causing hurt, damage to property and criminal trespass, among others.

Nine teams have been formed to conduct a probe into the incident, Police Commissioner GS Malik told reporters on Sunday.

Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi has held a meeting with police officers and instructed them to take strict and judicial action in the matter, Malik said.

"Some 20-25 people entered the hostel premises (on Saturday night) and objected to the international students offering namaz there, asking them to do so in a mosque. They argued over the issue, assaulting them and hurling stones. They also vandalised their rooms," the police commissioner said.

There are around 300 international students enrolled at the Gujarat University, including from Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Sri Lanka and countries in the African continent, Malik said.

Nearly 75 of the international students stay in the A-block hostel of the university where the incident occurred, he said.

VC Gupta had said two groups clashed on Saturday night within the premises of A-block hostel where 75 international students stayed.

The matter escalated and some international students were hurt, she said.

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