Africans hear from own in Greater Noida: Stay home, we will send food

The latest allegation followed a mob attack on four Nigerian students at Pari Chowk on Monday evening.

Written by Sowmiya Ashok | New Delhi | Updated: March 30, 2017 11:22 am
african attack, nigerian attack, greater noida nigerian attack, africans in delhi, african in noida, kailash hospital, african helpline, african student beaten, noida mall african, indian express news, india news, delhi news An hour before this message went out, Muhammad, Samuel and Brahim had huddled together on the fifth floor of the hospital to discuss strategy.

“ATTENTION!!!” typed Zaharaddeen Muhammad into the small dialogue box on his smartphone. It was 1.30 pm on Wednesday and he was seated on the ground floor of the Kailash Hospital in Greater Noida. Across the hall was the emergency room where 24-year-old Kenyan student, Maria Burendi, was recovering after allegedly being beaten up by a group of men early in the morning while travelling in Greater Noida in a cab.

The latest allegation followed a mob attack on four Nigerian students at Pari Chowk on Monday evening. Since then, African nationals in Greater Noida have repeatedly been asked to stay indoors and not venture out — even for food and water.

Read | Police launch special helpline for Africans living in India

“With due respect, the Association of African Students in India is arranging food and water supply to the needy ones at doorsteps.” Muhammad paused and scrolled up to insert “free” before the food. “Whoever is in need should contact the following numbers for delivery.” He typed out the phone numbers of Bukola Samuel, Abdul Brahim and his own and pressed his finger over the green circle to the right. The message went out to the ‘Greater Noida Students’, ‘AASI NIU’, ‘Executives 2017’ and the ‘Black Stars’ WhatsApp groups. He then pasted the message as his Facebook status.

An hour before this message went out, Muhammad, Samuel and Brahim had huddled together on the fifth floor of the hospital to discuss strategy. In the evening, they enlisted the services of police to distribute packets of biryani, samosas and bread to students who had written to them. “We will ask them to give us their name and address and let’s see how we can do this,” said one of them.

Read | Africans attacked in Greater Noida: Case against 600 unknown persons, 44 residents named

The three men, all students from Nigeria studying in universities in Noida, are office bearers at the Association of African Students in India (AASI), and have spent the morning sending out warnings to African students living in Greater Noida: “Remain indoors!”

Much like Nigerian students, Endurance and Precious, who came under a mob attack earlier this week, these men are part of a steadily increasing African student population who have come to live in Greater Noida, lured by the sprawling, American-styled universities selling India as a dream destination for education.

“Back home, I was a student activist and when I came to India, I noticed it was necessary to be involved in some form of association since things were going really wrong,” said Muhammad. “Everyday, we hear or read things that Indians say about us. That we ‘eat humans’ or ‘eat dogs’. We cannot let this happen.” Other students said they faced racial slurs on a daily basis, often called ‘kala’ or ‘Negro’.

Rough estimates put the African student population at 25,000 across the country, about one-fifth of whom live in Greater Noida. Manuel, an economics undergraduate student at Noida International University, does a quick calculation. “Even if you assume a minimum tuition of a couple of lakh, these universities are earning in crores from us. This is not including the money we spend on transport, food and rent,” he said.

“We are pumping thousands of crores into the Indian economy and we are getting nothing in return. There are more than five million Indians in Nigeria and they are employed and live comfortably there.” Manuel gets cut off mid-sentence by Michael: “An Indian man from Punjab lives in my house in Nigeria. I am his landlord and I look after him well. If this trend of mob violence continues, we will have to retaliate and perhaps it will be through diplomacy. Nigeria is one of the largest exporters of crude oil to India. We will also actively discourage African students from applying to Indian universities.”

The African diaspora within India is uniting and becoming more aware of each other, photographer Mahesh Shantaram told The Indian Express. Shantaram spent the last year photographing members from the African community in different parts of the country, including Muhammad in Greater Noida.

“Even though each place has a small concentration of Africans, they are becoming enraged with similar incidents across the country. The WhatsApp groups serve as a virtual family where they can come together and get to know each other. For instance, about the incident in Greater Noida that took place over the weekend, I came to know from five contacts from different parts of the country. The community was definitely not as united even a year ago,” said Shantaram.

The AASI, Muhammad said, has attempted to put together a database of students through an open college registration via their website. “We even used to collaborate with universities so we know the number of African students in any one place,” he said.

But WhatsApp and Facebook groups have made this task easier for the association. “Unless everything calms down, we are not going to tell anyone to leave their homes or go back to classes at their universities. This is not the first time such an incident is happening; the Indian government has to fully address the issue so it never happens again. Until then, India is not a safe country for a Black man.”

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First Published on: March 30, 2017 3:18 am
  1. S
    Sia
    Mar 30, 2017 at 4:43 am
    This is shameful and reflect the mindset of Indian community I have lived for some good years in Nigeria and was amazed by the love and hospitaliy from Nigerians. In country where rogi (diseased mindset) CM like Yogi segregate their own Indians what else could have been expected. As an Indian Our sincere apology for this shameful incident.
    Reply
    1. S
      ss
      Mar 30, 2017 at 6:36 am
      why these chimps are coming to India, we already are a overcrowded nation with too much of unemploymenet, really don't make sense for them to come here for studies or employment
      Reply
      1. S
        Sikkandar
        Mar 30, 2017 at 1:47 am
        Dear African friends,lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;You have chosen wrong area to pursue your study.Basically we Indians are purely communal, racists and caste divide society.But in consution, it is falsely mentioned we are as secularists while we are really pseudo secularists and communal fanatics and inter state hatred society.It is totally your mistake in selecting Delhi as your study place where rape is common incident everyday.A fair trial and fine treatment will be mere a dream.A right retaliation in Nigeria as in Kansas will be the right answer to this kind of brutality against Nigerians.
        Reply
        1. R
          Rock star
          Mar 30, 2017 at 1:34 pm
          These are sorry incidant and must be dealt sternly.They are our guestdian student unions should come fwd in support of these students.
          Reply
          1. B
            babloo
            Mar 30, 2017 at 8:07 am
            Tomorrow they may ask Indians living in Nigeria or in any other african country,' coloured chaps.. why you have come here"
            Reply
            1. B
              BASH
              Mar 30, 2017 at 4:01 am
              IT clearly indicates the facist mindset of majority Hindus. Now the entire world view our country as a barbaric,fanatic filled country. God alone should save this country under Modi and Illiterate Yogi
              Reply
              1. D
                Dr Siddiqui
                Mar 30, 2017 at 9:24 am
                Mob violence is becoming a too frequent happening.Wake up call for those in authority.What percentage of Africans are involved in the great Punjab illegal drug business?Are drug abusers not responsible?
                Reply
                1. H
                  H Gangadhar
                  Mar 30, 2017 at 2:34 am
                  Forget about Africans, we can't even tolarate /accommodate people from north east.Only the "gora" from west gets royal treatment.lt;br/gt;Deeply prejudiced "frog in the well" mentality is driving us to elect ppl like Adityanath who gloats over the nonexistent "great sanatana sanskriti".
                  Reply
                  1. I
                    innocent
                    Mar 30, 2017 at 6:53 am
                    Afrikans should study in south, east or west India... north India is racist aryan blood.....
                    Reply
                    1. I
                      innocent
                      Mar 30, 2017 at 6:48 am
                      why u come out of your house when roads are crowded....these chimps are ur ancestors read charles darwin human evolution theory....u hypo0crite
                      Reply
                      1. J
                        Jawad
                        Mar 30, 2017 at 10:03 am
                        Hate crime in India too. Unbelievable.
                        Reply
                        1. B
                          Babu Rao
                          Mar 30, 2017 at 4:37 pm
                          Many african people r racist, especially towards Indian thinkng as them being weak race becuase of many indian health issue
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            Ajit
                            Mar 30, 2017 at 12:38 pm
                            Why Indians go out and settle in other countries, what a thought you can go to other countries and you dont respect others
                            Reply
                            1. M
                              Mallikarjun Iyyer
                              Mar 30, 2017 at 5:17 am
                              appreciate! do not take the few for the w! be more sensitive to the neighbourhoods culture where you live in. Learn local language for interaction. That might help you. The world belongs to all.
                              Reply
                              1. M
                                Mathews C
                                Mar 30, 2017 at 12:38 pm
                                It is a great shame on that hate group who attacked African students. Deep fanaticism is growing in India like virus. I condemned this act of violence against foreign students. It should be stopped. The authorities and the police should arrest those who attacked these foreign students. They should learn to respect the sentiments of foreign students. They should come forward to help them instead of attacking them.
                                Reply
                                1. M
                                  Mohamed
                                  Mar 30, 2017 at 7:18 am
                                  It is extremely unfortunate that these young students from Africa are the victims of racially motivated hate crimes perpetrated mob vigilantes on the bogus allegations of supplying drugs to a youth who had suddenly ped away because of an undetermined cause but the situations should not have been allowed to escalate to a complete terror. The law enforcement agencies in state level and central level alike should have taken the appropriate measures to ease the siege mentality endured by these African students. Additionally, the education community like universities managements, professors and students unions should have shown solidarity to the African students and educate the general public about the guest students and the importance of abiding by the law of the land what may.lt;br/gt;I do not belief that innocent Indians in Nigeria or else where should be violated as we are aware of that 'crime is a crime regardless of who perpetrates it and where it is perpetrated' but the Indian levels Governments, community leaders, universities...etc. should take a leading role to educate the less educated and communal elements in India the importance of human equality and the supremacy of the law in any situation.
                                  Reply
                                  1. J
                                    john michael
                                    Mar 30, 2017 at 8:31 am
                                    Mark these words ..."There are more than five million Indians in Nigeria and they are emplo and live comfortably there.” ....... its simple what will happen if they retaliate in Nigeria,,, and we know they can.
                                    Reply
                                    1. K
                                      Kamal Pasha
                                      Mar 30, 2017 at 5:54 am
                                      Whatever the reasons, these African students should not have been treated like this. What message they will take back home? Shame on the culprits.
                                      Reply
                                      1. R
                                        Raider
                                        Mar 30, 2017 at 6:55 am
                                        Dear Africans bros or the world in general this is to inform you that as you know we Indians ourselves are not secure here how you will be secured. In the name of nationalism we ourselves are fighting and killing each other among us to gain superiority over each other that who is patriot. By killing our own Indians in the name of religion, caste, eating habits, living habits etc., we will prove our patriotism when no one remains alive among us. And the full credits goes to our great politicians who destroys a tolerant and peaceful nation into chaotic nation. As per our culture 'aditi devo bhava' (guest is like God) but we ourselves forgot God and we are using God for commercial and political purpose to ignite hatred among ourselves. So please be careful don't trust us we are no more peaceful or helpful people now and take care of yourself. Thanks.
                                        Reply
                                        1. V
                                          Vikas
                                          Mar 30, 2017 at 8:41 am
                                          No one shouting against bjp men for human right violation against Africans. Al blamed Somnath when he caught some red handed
                                          Reply
                                          1. I
                                            Isac
                                            Mar 30, 2017 at 4:55 am
                                            All lies, nothing ever happened. India is a hindu nation, who (shud) treat guests as Gods. If India is NOT safe for "Black men" then where should the Indian blacks go? stan?
                                            Reply
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