Indian Hindu zealots beat int’l students during Tarabi prayers


Al Jazeera :
At least four foreign students have been injured after a Hindu far-right mob allegedly stormed a university hostel in India’s western Gujarat state and attacked the group of students for offering prayers during the holy month of Ramadan, local media has reported.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs on Sunday pledged to take “strict actions against the perpetrators”, as the local police in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi said an investigation was under way in connection with the attack at the Gujarat University.

The students told local media that a small group had gathered on
Saturday night inside the boys’ hostel premises for the Ramadan tarawih prayer as there is no mosque on the university campus based in Ahmedabad.

Soon after, a mob armed with sticks and knives stormed the hostel, attacked them and vandalised their rooms, they said.

“A group of 15 students were offering prayers when three people came and started shouting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ [Hail lord Ram]. They objected to us praying here,” local media quoted a student as saying.

“After some time, about 250 people came and shouted ‘Jai Shri Ram’. They pelted stones and vandalised hostel properties.”

A student from Afghanistan told local NDTV network: “They attacked us inside the rooms too. They broke laptops, phones and damaged bikes,” adding that the AC and sound system were destroyed as well.

Videos posted on X showed ransacked student dorms and a mob destroying the students’ motorbikes with long tools.

“We cannot survive like this,” one African student said in his video filmed from the hostel. In the background, loud shouting and sounds of items being demolished, broken and smashed by the mob are heard.

“We came to India to study and now we’re being attacked just because it’s time for Ramadan and Muslims were praying. Now they’re breaking down the bikes, everything is being demolished down[stairs],” he said.

The Indian Express news website reported two of the students were severely injured and are recovering at a hospital after students from Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and several African countries were attacked.


“Yesterday, at around 10:30pm a group of students were praying. Around 20-25 people came and asked them why they were praying here and should instead go the mosque,” Ahmedabad Police Commissioner GS Malik told reporters at a briefing on Sunday.

“An argument broke out between them, stones were pelted and their rooms were vandalised by the people who came from outside.”

He added that a complaint has been received against 20-25 people and one of the accused has been identified. Nine teams have been formed to investigate the incident, he said.

India’s External Affairs Ministry said on X that the state government is “taking strict action against the perpetrators”.

“Two foreign students were injured in the clash. One of them has been discharged from hospital after receiving medical attention,” spokesman Randhit Jaiswal said.

Asaduddin Owaisi, a member of parliament from the southern city of Hyderabad, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to “intervene to send a strong message?”

“What a shame. When your devotion and religious slogans only come out when Muslims peacefully practice their religion,” he posted on X.

“Domestic anti-Muslim hatred is destroying India’s goodwill,” he wrote tagging S Jaishankar, India’s external affairs minister.

Gujarat University Vice-Chancellor Dr Neerja A Gupta told local media that the international students need to be trained in “cultural sensitivity”.

“These are foreign students and when you go abroad, you must learn cultural sensitivity. These students need an orientation. We will sit with them, provide cultural orientation and discuss how to strengthen their security,” NDTV quoted Gupta as saying.