Nigerian students attacked in India over football fracas

Nigerian students attacked in India

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has confirmed that Nigerian students in a private university in India were attacked by their Indian counterparts following a football fracas on Saturday, October 15.

Eighty-six Nigerian students of GD Goenka University in Gurugam, the NIDCOM said, were taken into custody by the Nigerian Mission.

A Nigerian student identified as Khaleel told Times of India (TOI) that trouble erupted on Friday, when the university decided to have both Indian and Nigerian students in one team.

“Our captain spoke with the sports officer and laid down his objections against a ‘mixed team’,” he told TOI.

“The officer decided to call off the match. Despite that, a few Indian students entered the field and before anyone could realise a thing, someone hit our captain on the head with an iron rod. Outsiders, who had come on bikes, also joined them and there was a clash. However, the matter was resolved that day itself,” he said.

Khaleel alleged that a group of Indian students attacked them in the hostel the next day (Saturday).

“They hurled abuses and threatened us with dire consequences. We are 63 Nigerians here in total. We have left the campus for the time being and are staying in Delhi,” he added.

Indian students, on the other hand, alleged they were attacked by a group of Nigerians.

Chairman of NIDCOM Abike Dabiri-Erewa tweeted on Monday that calm has been restored to the campus.

She said, “This happened Sat, as a result of a fracas during a football match between Afican and Indian Students. The Nigerian mission immediately took custody of 86 Nigerian students, invited the representatives of the Indian govt, got their commitment to ensure safety of the students who then returned back to campus on Sunday.

“Calm has returned to the campus. A few injuries were recorded and further investigations are ongoing. The Nigerian mission had made it clear that the Indian authorities would be held responsible if anything happens to any of the students.

“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.”