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Nigerian students ‘injured’, flee Indian university after ‘clash during football match’

Nigerian students ‘injured’, flee Indian university after ‘clash during football match’
October 17
21:17 2022

More than 80 Nigerian students of the GD Goenka University in Gurgaon, India, have reportedly fled the school after an altercation with their Indian counterparts.

In a video posted on Twitter by Ashok Swain, a professor of peace and conflict research at Uppsala university, Sweden, some Indian students were seen approaching some persons with rods and stones in a menacing way.

Some persons were also seen retreating from the Indians before breaking into a run.

Responding to the tweet, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairperson of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), said the pandemonium was a result of a fracas during a football match involving Nigerians and Indians.

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“This happened Sat, as a result of a fracas, during a football match between African 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,” she said.

“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.”

According to Times of India (TOI), a Nigerian student identified as Khaleel said trouble broke out when both Nigerian and Indian students were grouped into one team for football.

“Our captain spoke with the sports officer and laid down his objections against a ‘mixed team’. 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,” the student was quoted as saying.

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“Outsiders, who had come on bikes, also joined them and there was a clash. However, the matter was resolved that day itself.”

According to Khaleel, a group of Indian students attacked the hostel the next day (Saturday), adding that “they hurled abuses and threatened us with dire consequences”.

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TOI further reported that an Indian student, identified as Sultan Khan, refuted the claim that the attacks were perpetrated by locals.

According to Khan, he was taking a walk in the school’s premises on Saturday when about five Nigerians used expletives aimed at him.

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“They kept raining blows on me. My friends came to my rescue but they were thrashed with sticks and rods too,” he said.

According to TOI, both sides have since filed complaints at the Sohna City police station.

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The development comes about a month after Indian students reportedly protested against their Nigerian colleagues who were performing Islamic prayers at the soccer field.

The Indian students, predominantly Hindus, were said to have complained to the institution’s management, insisting that Muslim students limit their prayers to hostel rooms.

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