Nigeria reacts strongly to clashes between Indian, Nigerian students at GD Goenka University in Haryana

Nigeria reacts strongly to clashes between Indian, Nigerian students at GD Goenka University in Haryana

Tensions flared at the university campus on Saturday as both the groups filed cross-FIRs against each other at Sohna police station over physical assault as six students were reported to be injured in the incident.

Abhishek NairUpdated: Thursday, October 20, 2022, 01:18 AM IST
article-image
Indian and Nigerian students clash at GD Goenka University campus. | Twitter

After clashes between Indian and Nigerian students in Haryana’s GD Goenka University, government authorities and individuals from the West African country have reacted strongly against the incident. 

Tensions flared at the university campus on Saturday as both the groups filed cross-FIRs against each other at Sohna police station over physical assault as six students were reported to be injured in the scuffle. It was also reported that 60 Nigerian students fled the campus fearing for their lives. 

Nigerian authorities assure safety to students

While reacting to the incident, the Nigerian government said that 86 students were in the Nigerian Embassy’s custody until they went back to the campus on Sunday and received a commitment from the Indian authorities regarding the safety of the students. 

“The Nigerian mission had made it clear that the Indian authorities would be held responsible if anything happens to any of the students,” said a statement by Abike Dabiri Erewa, who serves as the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission. “There is already a written commitment by the Indian Authorities to protect our students. Any student feeling threatened should pls report to the Nigerian mission in Delhi immediately,” added Erewa. 

Current and former India-educated Nigerian pupils react to the incident

According to AASI (Association of African Students in India) there are about 25,000 African students enrolled in nearly 500 Indian public and private universities, as of 2021, with pupils from Sudan and Nigeria being the most significant contributors. 

Fawale Clement Olajide, a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science from Mumbai University, told the Free Press Journal that though such incidents are not representative of the entire nation, occurrences of abuse have often been reported by students from Africa in India. “I have heard slur words directed against me by locals in trains and other public transport which seem racially motivated. There should be some kindness and humanity among individuals as we are all humans irrespective of our diversities,” said Clement, who has been in India for the past 6 years and completed his graduation and postgraduation in the country. “We need departments in universities dedicated to different nationalities who come to study in India. The issues like the one that happened in Goenka could have been addressed through such an entity,” added Clement. 

Many African, foreign students in India leave the country once their academics are done due to India not having a regulated work visa policy that encourages students to stay back and work here for a specific period.

Qamar Adeiza spent three years in India at the Somaiya institute in Mumbai and liked his time in the country but returned to Nigeria for a job. According to Qamar, the clashes between Nigerian and Indian students which led to the former fleeing the campus is a one-off incident but maintained that the government needs to make their stand clear in condemning such an incident regardless of the circumstances behind it.

“We are in a globalised society, and it should be in the Indian government’s interest to take necessary action in creating an accommodative environment for foreigners, especially Africans as their respective countries are doing the same for Indians,” stated Qamar. 

UGC warns university over the incident

The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Wednesday asked for a report from GD Goenka University regarding the clashes and urged the institution to make sure that such a happening does not occur again. 

"It has come to the notice of the UGC that there were clashes between Nigerian and local students on the campus of the university, which is causing tension among students," UGC Joint Secretary Surender Singh said. "The university has been directed to take appropriate action and send a detailed report to the commission. Also, suitable measures should be taken to avoid such incidents in future," he added.

RECENT STORIES

Budget 2024: 5 Major Highlights For Education Sector

Budget 2024: 5 Major Highlights For Education Sector

ESIC Opens Applications For 8 Contractual Specialists; Last Date to Apply July 24

ESIC Opens Applications For 8 Contractual Specialists; Last Date to Apply July 24

Anjali Birla Moves Delhi HC Against 'X' Posts That Claimed She Cleared UPSC Due To Her Father & LS...

Anjali Birla Moves Delhi HC Against 'X' Posts That Claimed She Cleared UPSC Due To Her Father & LS...

MAH MCA CET 2024 Registration Window Extended Till July 27; Apply NOW!

MAH MCA CET 2024 Registration Window Extended Till July 27; Apply NOW!

MH CET 3-Year LLB Counselling 2024 Ends Tomorrow: Register Now, Window Closes Soon

MH CET 3-Year LLB Counselling 2024 Ends Tomorrow: Register Now, Window Closes Soon