Two days after a 16-year-old boy died of suspected overdose in Sector Pi-II here, three Nigerian nationals were beaten up during a protest organised to demand the arrest of the accused.
The deceased, Manish Khatri, was a student of Class XII in a private school. According to the police, he had gone missing on Friday evening and was found in an intoxicated state near his residence the next day.
He was rushed to a hospital, where he died during treatment. His family later lodged a complaint against five Nigerian nationals accusing them of drugging him.
On Monday, his family and the locals conducted a candlelight march from NSG Society to Pari Chowk here, demanding the arrest of the accused.
The march, however, turned violet when the protesters spotted three Nigerians and beat them up. They also vandalised some cars and gheraoed the office of the Gautam Budh Nagar SSP. They also raised slogans outside the District Collector’s office. The protesters then went about the city till the evening, allegedly looking for Nigerians to thrash them. The incident led to major law-and-order problem in the area. The police had to use lathi-charge to dispel the protesters. Senior police officers also reached the spot.
The clash also led to a major traffic jam on the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway. Sources said few more Nigerians were thrashed in a showroom near Pari Chowk and near a CNG station in Beta Two.
Security beefed up
“Heavy police force was deployed in the area. We are trying to bring the situation under control,” said Gautam Budh Nagar SSP Dharmender Yadav.
The police have also stepped up security outside paying guests and educational institutes attended by Nigerians in the city. Greater Noida SP Sujata Singh said three FIRs had been registered against seven people for rioting. A few of them have been detained, while hunt is on for the others. She added the deceased might have been under depression.
Reacting to the incident, Union External Affairs Sushma Swaraj tweeted: “I have asked for a report from Government of Uttar Pradesh about the reported attack on African students in Noida [sic].”
The deceased’s family members, meanwhile, said they did not know about the identities of the people involved in the clash. “We did not take law into our hands. We only organised a peacefully candlelight march after obtaining permission from the administration,” said Meghraj, Manish’s cousin.