More than a week after five Nigerian residents of Greater Noida’s NSG Black Cat Enclave were questioned and let off by police in connection with the death of a Class XII student, police are yet to return their passports as investigation in the case is still pending. On Sunday evening, representatives from the Association of African Students in India (AASI) met senior Uttar Pradesh police officers and raised the issue. “We requested the immediate release of the passports of the five Nigerian students, and were assured by the DGP that they would be returned,” Samuel Jackson, from AASI, said.
A statement released by the group on Sunday had highlighted the issue. “The passports of five students of Noida International University, against whom Noida police has not been able to find any evidence so far in connection with the mysterious death of a young Indian boy, are yet to be returned. Authorities must realise that passports are important identity papers needed to avail various government as well as non-government services,” the statement read.
Police officials, however, said the passports will be returned once the probe is complete. “We are still waiting for the viscera examination report from the forensic laboratory in Agra. Our investigation will go forward based on the report. Following that, the passports will be returned,” Sujata Singh, SP (Rural), Gautam Buddha Nagar, said.
On March 25, Manish Khari — a Class XII student who lived in NSG Black Cat Enclave — died at a private hospital. A day before he died, Khari’s family had alleged that the five Nigerian students — who live in a rented flat two houses away from them — had kidnapped him.
Following Khari’s death, the family filed a police complaint alleging that the Nigerians had drugged their son. “They were picked up for questioning as a case had been registered on the basis of the complaint. No evidence was found against them and they were let off. The postmortem report was inconclusive so we have sent the viscera samples for testing to ascertain the cause of death,” Singh said.
The incident had led to an attack on four Africans by residents who took out a candlelight march for the student.