By Tiffany Kuo
The recent death of an Indian teenager, Manish Khari, due to a mysterious poisoning unleashed a wave of mob attacks throughout India against the Nigerian and Kenyan population. Assumption that the teenager over- dosed on drugs provided by Nigerian schoolmates parallel the racial tensions that are not new to the country especially with an influx of African students travelling to India for studies.
Promptly after confirmation of the teenager’s death, his parent filed claims towards five Nigerian students at the Noida International School with charges of drug possession and the murder of their son. Lack of concrete evidence allowed the teenagers to be released.
The superintendent of Great Noida’s police force, Abhinandan Singh, noted in a telephone interview with the New York Times that there were no correlations between the African students or drugs and the teenager’s death.
The event continued to flare with animosity as mourners left the late teenager’s vigil to Ansal Plaza mall where they attacked a group of nine Nigerian students. A video of the attack showed the students being swung at with stools and trash bins.
Two Nigerian brothers, Precious and Endurance Amalawa, attempted to flee the vicinity when they were quickly overtaken by a mob of attackers, but Endurance needed extensive medical attention due to his injuries.
Since the initial Ansal Plaza mob attack, another violent altercation took place at Pari Chowk. Seven Nigerian individuals were attacked by a mob of approximately 100 people for allegedly condoning cannibalism and drug use. Those harmed in the event were in stable conditions after being hospitalized.
“We are targeted because of our color,” ` stated Samuel Jack, leader of the Association of African Students to the Agence-France Presse in response to the growing number of violent outbreaks due to racial prejudices.
The Association of African Students has warned those residing in the New Delhi area to be cautious and to continue to spread word of the outbreaks induced by racism.
Several government officials have spoken out to assure the public that the mob attacks are being under review.