Two African students, accused of failing to comply with the restraint, fled on their campus

Two African students from the Roorkee Institute of Technology in northern India fell victim to an outbreak of violence on July 15, 2020. Several videos showing them being attacked by private security agents circulated on social networks in the days that followed, leading to the dismissal of several officials at campus. According to some activists, these images reflect the racism suffered by people from the African continent in the country.The Roorkee Institute of Technology, located in the state of Uttarakhand in northern India, was the scene on July 15 for violence against two African students. According to a study by Indian independent media The Quint, Ibrahim Diaby, a citizen of Nigeria and Guinea, was accused by the university management of not respecting the containment measures and of leaving the campus without permission. But one of his friends explained that the administration had not provided him with any departure departures since March and that he still had to go out to “buy food and have his phone and laptop repaired.”.

According to local police, the administration then asked him to expel Ibrahim from campus, which the security forces refused to do, suggesting that the problem be resolved with the embassy concerned. According to The Quint, the campus administration then called on the private security company “Hawk Commando”, which she had already worked with. This company has since July 15 sent a team of 18 men to deport Ibrahim by force.
Another of his friends from Ghana, Emmanuel, would then have tried to intervene. His intervention is not clearly visible in the videos that have so far been circulated on social networks.

In the films documenting this violence, the employees of this company recognize their blue uniforms and black hats. They are seen beating Ibrahim, dragging him down the stairs and carrying him in arms and legs to take him outside the university complex.

The man who films also seems to have sharked several times to lose his balance. So far, this man has not been formally identified; on several occasions these men carry bamboo sticks, it is not clear if they used them to beat the students. A third student interviewed by The Quint claimed to have been hit with these sticks.

“We have no family here in India”

On the same day, the All India Students’ Association posted on its Facebook page a video filmed by Ibrahim, recognized, in which he explains the context of the violence:

When the school decided to exclude us from boarding school, we told them that if we left it at this crucial time, our safety would not be guaranteed, as we have no family here in India. We promised that we would leave the pension after the pandemic, but they insisted that we leave.

On Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, videos documenting the violence suffered by Ibrahim and Emmanuel have attracted tens of thousands of views. A petition demanding the resignation of the director of the Roorkee Institute of Technology was launched and collected several thousand signatures. After several articles were published in the Indian national press, the plant’s manager and seven others were arrested, reports The Quint. The independent media state that the two students were hospitalized and that only Emmanuel has so far been released from the hospital.

Several Indian activists said on Twitter that these acts of violence stemmed from racism perpetrated by people from the African continent in India. Some shared videos from the event under the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, which echoed the anti-racist movement that crossed the United States and then the world after George Floyd’s death.

“This is a clear case of racist attacks on black students,” tweeted Nasir Khuehami, a spokesman for a student union in Jammu and Kashmir, a region in northern India.

In India, African students are regular victims of violence, discrimination and lynching. In 2016, the editorial staff of France 24 Observers went to meet them to gather their testimonies in our program Ligne Direct.