International students at Gujarat University attacked for offering namaz in hostel; two arrested

Police have arrested two men and are looking for more after students hailing from different foreign countries were assaulted allegedly by a group of persons in the Gujarat University hostel in Ahmedabad for offering namaz there.
Police investigate the Gujarat University hostel campus where students hailing from different foreign countries were assaulted allegedly by a group of persons over the issue of offering Namaz, in Ahmedabad, Sunday, March 17, 2024.
Police investigate the Gujarat University hostel campus where students hailing from different foreign countries were assaulted allegedly by a group of persons over the issue of offering Namaz, in Ahmedabad, Sunday, March 17, 2024.

Ahmedabad | The police have arrested two men and are looking for more after students hailing from different foreign countries were assaulted allegedly by a group of persons in the Gujarat University hostel in Ahmedabad for offering namaz there, police said on Sunday.

Two students – one from Sri Lanka and another from Tajikistan – were hospitalised after the incident which took place in the A-block hostel on Saturday night, they said.

An FIR was registered against 20-25 unidentified accused persons under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for rioting, unlawful assembly, voluntarily causing hurt, damage to property, and criminal trespass, among others, and two persons identified as Hitesh Mevada and Bharat Patel have been arrested so far, DCP (Zone 7) Tarun Duggal said.

Nine teams have been formed to conduct a probe into the incident, Police Commissioner GS Malik said.

Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi held a meeting with police officers and directed them to take strict and judicial action in the matter, Malik said.

The incident was reported at around 10.50 pm on Saturday when nearly two dozen people barged into the (government-run) Gujarat University's hostel and raised an objection to students from foreign countries offering namaz in the facility where they stayed, the police officer said.

“Some 20-25 people entered the hostel premises and objected to the international students offering namaz there, asking them to do so in a mosque. They argued over the issue, assaulting them and hurling stones. They also vandalised their rooms," Malik said.

Two students, one from Sri Lanka and another from Tajikistan, have been hospitalised, he said.

“Police will take strict action against all those involved in the incident. The overall monitoring of the case will be done by the Joint Commissioner of Police of the Crime Branch. ...The law and order situation is under control and nobody needs to worry,” he told mediapersons.

He said that police have in the past taken strict action against elements, and will continue to do so in the future as well.

Several purported videos of the alleged incident have also surfaced

Gujarat university campus after the namaz incident.
Gujarat university campus after the namaz incident.

showing people pelting stones, and in one incident a man is seen slapping a university staffer, Malik said.

He said that the police are verifying the authenticity of these videos.

There are around 300 international students enrolled at Gujarat University, including from Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Sri Lanka and countries in Africa, Malik said.

Nearly 75 of the international students stay in the A-block hostel of the university where the incident occurred, the officer said.

The police responded within minutes after a call was made to the control room at 10.51 pm. A police van reached the spot and action was taken, he said.

While an FIR was registered against 20-25 people, two have been arrested so far. The rest will be arrested soon, Malik said, adding that the situation was under control.

Nine teams have been formed, including four from the crime branch and five from local police under DCP, to conduct a probe into the case, he said.

Gujarat University Vice Chancellor Neerja Gupta said that two groups clashed on the premises of the A-block hostel where 75 international students stayed.

"The matter escalated and some international students were hurt. An FIR has been registered. The government and police have taken the matter seriously and an investigation is underway," she told media persons.

Police investigate the Gujarat University hostel campus where students hailing from different foreign countries were assaulted allegedly by a group of persons over the issue of offering Namaz, in Ahmedabad, Sunday, March 17, 2024.
Police investigate the Gujarat University hostel campus where students hailing from different foreign countries were assaulted allegedly by a group of persons over the issue of offering Namaz, in Ahmedabad, Sunday, March 17, 2024.

Gujarat govt taking strict action against perpetrators: MEA on attacks on foreign students

New Delhi | India on Sunday said the Gujarat government is taking strict action against the perpetrators of violence at a university in Ahmedabad in which two foreign students sustained injuries.

Local police said it arrested two men and are looking for more after students hailing from different foreign countries were allegedly assaulted by a group at one of the hostels of the Gujarat University in Ahmedabad for offering namaz.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said one of the two foreign students injured in the violence has been discharged from hospital.

"An incidence of violence took place at Gujarat University in Ahmedabad yesterday. State government is taking strict action against the perpetrators," he said on 'X'.

"Two foreign students were injured in the clash. One of them has been discharged from hospital after receiving medical attention," he said.

Two students -- one from Sri Lanka and another from Tajikistan -- were hospitalised after the incident that took place at the university's A-block hostel on Saturday night, according to the police.

An FIR was registered against 20-25 unidentified accused persons under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for rioting, unlawful assembly, voluntarily causing hurt, damage to property, and criminal trespass, among others, senior police official Tarun Duggal said in Ahmedabad.

Nine teams have been formed to conduct the probe into the incident, Police Commissioner G S Malik said.

The incident was reported at around 10.50 pm on Saturday when nearly two dozen people barged into the hostel and raised an objection to students from foreign countries offering namaz in the facility where they stayed, the police said.

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