African students have often been victims of racially motivated attacks in India, and the recent brutal attacks of several Nigerian students has caused an uproar across the world.  According to reports, the attacks on African students came after the death of an Indian teenager due to an alleged drug overdose, and the Nigerian students living in Noida, near New Delhi have been blamed for the death.

Following the death of the Indian teenager, several African students have been brutally attacked by mobs. The incidents have affected learning in various institutions, and African nationals in India have chosen to stay indoors fearing attack.

Although the government of India has indicated that there will be an investigation on the attacks on African students, the news has not calmed the volatile situation, which has worsened the racial relation in India.

The Association of African Students in India recently posted videos on social media showing attack on  African students.

Previous cases of violence on Black Africans

In May 2016, a 23-year-old Congolese national Masunda Kitada Oliver, was beaten to death in South Delhi.  Reports and eyewitness indicated the young man was fatally hit on the head with stones and sticks in the presence of police officers, and he later died in the hospital. India’s Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement unequivocally condemning the “unfortunate” incident, and made a plea that “all criminal acts should not be seen as racially-motivated”.

Read: Nigerians strongly react to xenophobic attacks in South Africa

Source: Association of African Students in India/twitter

Assault of African students in Bangalore 

In the southern city of Bangalore, a young woman at the age of 21 in a company of her Tanzanian friends were last year stripped naked and assaulted by a group of Indians. The mob also set the African students’ car on fire.

Read: Tanzanian student stripped and assaulted in Bengaluru, India

Diplomatic tensions

An estimated 40,000 African nationals study and work in India and routinely deal with racial discrimination and stereotyping. Indians often perceive Africans as criminals, and racism and prejudice is a daily reality for many Africans living in India.

The recent attacks on Nigerian nationals has strained diplomatic relations. According to reports, Nigeria’s foreign ministry summoned India’s top diplomat to protest attacks on African students and demand justice on the crimes.