Attack on foreign students: Gambian delegation visits Gujarat University

On 16 March, around two dozen people barged into the university's hostel & objected to students from foreign countries offering namaz at one of the blocks, as per police

A bike lies on the ground after students were assaulted allegedly by a group of persons over the issue of offering Namaz on the Gujarat University hostel campus, 16 March. (photo: PTI)
A bike lies on the ground after students were assaulted allegedly by a group of persons over the issue of offering Namaz on the Gujarat University hostel campus, 16 March. (photo: PTI)
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PTI

A Gambian delegation has visited the Gujarat University campus and held a meeting with its vice chancellor over safety measures in the backdrop of an attack on foreign students allegedly for offering namaz in the varsity's hostel premises.

Nearly 30 students from the West African country study at the state-run university in Ahmedabad.

After the visit on Tuesday, 19 March, Vice Chancellor Neerja Gupta told reporters that the delegation, comprising officials from the High Commission of Gambia in New Delhi, expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by university authorities for the safety of students after the incident, which took place on the night of 16 March at one of the hostel blocks.

"It was a follow-up meeting by the Gambian delegation following the incident. They wanted to meet us because nearly 30 students from Gambia study in this university. The delegation wanted to know if their students are safe," said Gupta.

The delegation comprised a deputy high commissioner, a first secretary and a student representative, she said.

"The Gambian officials were made aware of the steps we have taken to ensure safety and security of students after the incident. During the meeting, they expressed satisfaction with our measures. They were also satisfied with the assurance we gave them about students' safety," Gupta said.

On 16 March, around two dozen people barged into the university's hostel and objected to students from foreign countries offering namaz at one of the blocks during the ongoing month of Ramzan, according to the police.

Students hailing from different foreign countries were assaulted by the group and two of them -- one each from Sri Lanka and Tajikistan -- were hospitalised after the incident, they said.

Following the incident, an FIR was registered against 20 to 25 unidentified persons under the Indian Penal Code sections for rioting, unlawful assembly, voluntarily causing hurt, damage to property and criminal trespass, among others.

Five persons have so far been arrested in connection with the incident, police said on Monday, 18 March.

The attack prompted the university to relocate foreign students to a new wing and engage ex-servicemen to bolster security.

The varsity authorities decided to shift international students to a separate hostel designated for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) within three days.

Additionally, a foreign student advisory committee has been established, along with the deployment of ex-Army personnel to fortify the hostel premises' security.

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