On Friday evening, Manish Khari, a student living in Greater Noida went out for a walk. When he didn’t return home, his family and friends set out to look for him. It was around this time, those looking for the boy heard from someone that the boy had last been seen with five Nigerian students who may have eaten him up.
What happened next can only be described as bizarre and outrageous. Looking for the boy, the crowd barged into the house of the students and started searching their fridge looking for the remains of the student.
The student, however, returned to the house a short while later, and died in the hospital on Saturday, due to an alleged drug overdose.
Convinced that the Nigerian students were somehow involved in the incident, the family reportedly insisted the police to file a murder case against them.
Protesting the murder charges, the African students on Sunday participated in a demonstration at Kasna police station in Greater Noida. The unproven suspicion of cannibalism – that led the residents to search the refrigerator – has once again put the spotlight on the racial discrimination faced by African students in Delhi and its adjoining areas.
“They accused them of being cannibals. That is the kind of ignorance against black people,” Samuel Jack, the president of the Association of African Students in India (AASI), told The Telegraph.
“How can someone come up with such inhuman allegations? I have lived in Russia and Germany but never been through such trauma. The day I leave India, I shall never come back,” said Najib Hamisu Umar, a student from Nigeria who is pursuing a PhD in India.
Sujata Singh, Superintendent of Police (Greater Noida-Rural), said that The five Nigerians, who study at the Noida International University, were questioned interrogated and booked for murder, Sujata Singh, Superintendent Of police, Greater Noida, told Scroll.in. The students were, however, allowed to go on Sunday.
“They had to be released as there is no evidence against them,” Singh said.
The police also refused to accept a complaint from the AASI to register a case against Manish’s family for falsely accusing the students, Jack told The Telegraph.