Accused of Cannibalism, Nigerians Protest Against Racism in NCR
“Black lives matter,” “We demand justice,” and “Skin tone is not a crime” are some of the echoes that were heard outside the Kasna police station in Greater Noida on Sunday.
The placards, carried by Nigerian students, were all in protest of one incident – five Nigerian students being accused of cannibalism and being booked for killing a 19-year-old boy, Manish Khari.
Missing Boy Leads to Nigerian Students Being Accused of Cannibalism
It all started when a group of locals in the NSG Black Cat Enclave in Greater Noida allegedly barged into a flat that is occupied by Nigerian students and searched their refrigerator for the remains of Khari. Khari, who went missing on Friday, died in a private hospital on Saturday of “unknown poisoning,” according to The Telegraph.
The locals, suspecting cannibalism, not only searched the students’ house but some of them also maintained that Khari was kidnapped by a “dark-skinned person who forced him to inhale a substance that made him pass out”, according to a Scroll report.
As the news of Khari’s death spread, several rumours started doing the rounds. Nandini Chaturvedi, a resident of the NSG Black Cat Enclave while talking to the media, said:
“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.
The Nigerian students were taken into custody after Khari’s parents registered an FIR against them. Consequently, Usman Abdul Qadir, Mohammad Amir, Saeed Kabir, Abdul Usman and Saeed Abu Waqar were booked for murder and causing hurt by means of any poisonous substance with the intent to commit an offence.
Even after the (body of the) boy was found, his parents still got an FIR registered against the five students on charges of murder, abduction and doing drugs. They were released for a short while on Saturday before the police again took them in and kept them in custody all of Saturday and through the night.Samuel Jack to The Telegraph
Jack added that the police has refused to accept a complaint from the AASI against Khari’s family for “falsely accusing the students”.
It was after the protests on Sunday that the police released the students, who have now been taken to an undisclosed location.
Sujata Singh, Superintendent of Police (Greater Noida-Rural), said that the students “had to be released as there wasn’t any evidence against them”.