AASI Press Release on Racial Attacks on African Students in Greater Noida
- July 31, 2017
- Posted by: Association of African Students in India
- Category: Press Release
Mr. Samuel Jack
B3/61 Safdarjung Enclave
Presidoe Okuguni 15th May, 2017
Public Relations FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Association of African Students in India Press Release on Series of Racial attacks on African Students in India and post attacks in Greater Noida
Months after the mob attacks on african students in Greater Noida specifically on the 27th of March 2017, the international passports of Said Kabir Abdullahi, Said Abubakar abdullahi, adamu Usman, Mohammad Amir Zakari Yau and Abdulkadir Usman still remains withheld by the Noida police.
These students were charged with cannibalism and murder even as the victim appeared the next day. The investigating authorities are yet to come up with a conclusive detail of what actually transpired as the cause of the incident. However, within the span of 12 hours after the Indian victim’s sad demise, National Capital Region witnessed one of the ugliest crimes committed against persons from African origin. If the mobs attacks on the streets was not enough, the Government both at the Uttar Pradesh state level and Central government level went on a denial mode. From downgrading the racist crimes to a narrative focussed only on “degrading law and order” to making racist remarks on social media, state and non state actors have shown that no one is serious about addressing the problem of racism from the government’s side.
Based on the police complaints filed across different areas in the country, we have identified series of cases racial attacks on Africans, to mention but a few out of many cases is that of Yannick Nihangaza, the young man from Burundi, who was brutally beaten up by local youths in 2012, and later died of injuries inflicted on him, in March 2016, a congolese student “Olivier Masunda” was beaten to death on an alleged Misunderstanding with a rickshaw driver in Vasant kunj, New Delhi-India, an incident of a Tanzanian girl assaulted and stripped naked. All of this cases out of many has remained matter treated with carefreeness. However, this and many other cases before the Greater Noida case has prompted us to seek for understanding and level of measures been taken by the authorities to ensure that this underlying issues are truly and genuinely tackled with a genuine purpose.
Discussions with various students groups revealed that anyone who does not conform to a majoritarian stereotype is seen as an outsider and liable to be treated as slaves. We found that persons belonging to Northeastern India are similarly discriminated in several parts. While we respect religious sentiments of all the people of this country, we felt couched on religious premises, people are also discriminated on the basis of their caste or clans.
Even if our origins and our struggles to assert our rights have their own unique histories, the antipathy meted out to different communities in India seems to have been emerging from the same source. In other words, stories of discrimination are not different from each other. It is in this context, we have taken a step further by reaching out to different groups working on the issues of skin, caste, class, colour and race in India as well as abroad. We are appreciate the tremendous support received so far from our brothers and sisters from the north-East which of course includes Irom Sharmila from Manipur who has been fighting for her people against extrajudicial killings in her state.
The path of struggle that Irom has taken is synonymous with, something that we draw our inspiration from and her solidarity will go a long way in asserting our rights. We appreciate her decision to join us in our quest to build a society void of any form of racial discrimination . We wish that in the coming days more groups will join us and we hope that a common platform can help us achieve our goals.
For all the causes we are fighting for after discussing the common issues faced by our people in India, we have prepared a list of demands that Indian government needs to
address as a matter of urgency to further quel the impact of this incidences on africans and people from minority groups across the country:
1) The authorities should immediately return the International passports of the students
falsely accused in the cannibalism and murder case of Greater Noida.
2) Create a body of professionals like lawyers and counselors who can help persons facing racial, communal and casteist attacks in different parts of the country and ensure that its implemented.
3) Crime investigating agencies and police should prepare a separate record for such attacks on people across India.
4) Visa violations should be handled in a more humane manner as criminalizing Visa violations have ruined many careers.
5) Awareness campaigns to open up a communication line between locals and non-Indians to encourage intergroup interaction by should targeting areas from where such discrimination
is reported. Increasing presence of police force for “conflict resolution” when there is a racist attitude that is at play in such areas will only worsen the scenario. At the same time, interesting initiatives of police officials have to be lauded.
6) The police authorities should be reminded of their duty to protect the rights and interests of everyone irrespective of wherever they are from there-by treating all cases as important without sentiments.
7) Compulsory implementation of a local language to be studied by all intending students when they arrive India to bridge communication gaps as well as introduce African history as a course in Indian schools to create an awareness about what Africa truly is as a continent.
8) A law should be enacted to keep a tab on erring locals who capitalize on the vulnerability of Africans and minorities by subjecting them to continuous racial slurs, profiling, prejudice and discrimination to serve as deterrent to others.
9) As part of our contribution towards a racially discriminatory free society, it is our resolve to continue on our awareness campaign about the need for a peaceful coexistence through the message of love, tolerance, peace and acceptance of diversity. We have a line up of series of awareness campaign drives which we shall begin in the coming days.
10) AASI stand together Irom Sharmila and the people of North-East asking the government to repeal AFSPA which gives undue and all forms states and otherwise based on racial prejudice and discrimination. It is building the relationship of brotherhood and solidarity across boundaries with Irom Sharmila and her struggle towards the repealing of the AFSPA.
We urge the various state and respective stakeholders to take proactive measures to repeal AFSPA.
11) Crack down down on all fake and non-accredited UGC and AICTE Universities who make fake promises to African students who eventually gets trapped in India.
12) Take decisive actions to bring to book those involved racial attacks on Africans and people from other minorities in India.
We feel that the Government of India could have done a lot more by
acknowledging the issues of racism, communalism and casteism. However, the recent statements of the Attorney General of UNHCR is a big let down for us.
With this newer solidarities, we hope that our collective demands do not go unnoticed. As a follow-up action for the future we will be approaching different international association and groupings about the cause we are struggling for.
We sincerely hope that the state as well as non-state pay attention to our plight and take concrete steps to rebuild the trust.
Association of African Students in India, AASI.