Gujarat University: Foreign students attacked in India over Ramadan prayers

Police in India have arrested five people after some international students were assaulted in a university hostel while offering Ramadan prayers.

Officials say a heated argument about the location of the prayers led to the physical attack in Gujarat University in western India on Saturday.

Foreign students at Gujarat University in India were reportedly attacked while peacefully observing Ramadan prayers. The incident, which occurred against the backdrop of heightened religious tensions, highlights the vulnerability of international students and raises concerns about religious intolerance and safety on university campuses.

Attack During Ramadan Prayers:

According to eyewitness accounts and preliminary reports, a group of foreign students, including individuals from African countries, gathered for evening prayers in a designated area on the Gujarat University campus. As they commenced their religious observance during the holy month of Ramadan, they were allegedly confronted by a mob of unidentified assailants who hurled stones and verbally abused them.

Witnesses Describe Terrifying Scene:

Witnesses described a scene of chaos and terror as the attackers unleashed violence against the students, shouting xenophobic slurs and derogatory remarks. Several students sustained injuries, while others were left traumatized by the ordeal. The attackers reportedly fled the scene before authorities could intervene, leaving behind a trail of fear and uncertainty.

Condemnation and Calls for Action:

The incident has elicited widespread condemnation from university officials, student organizations, and human rights advocates. In a statement, Gujarat University authorities denounced the attack as a heinous act of bigotry and vowed to take swift action to ensure the safety and security of all students, regardless of their nationality or religious affiliation.

Safety Concerns for International Students:

The attack on foreign students has reignited concerns about the safety and well-being of international students studying in India. Many foreign students, particularly those from African countries, have reported experiencing discrimination and harassment based on their race, nationality, or religious beliefs. The latest incident underscores the urgent need for universities and authorities to address these issues and create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all students.

Appeal for Unity and Tolerance:

As India grapples with the aftermath of the attack, there have been calls for unity, tolerance, and respect for diversity. Leaders from across the political spectrum have urged citizens to reject hatred and prejudice and embrace the principles of pluralism and mutual understanding. Ramadan, a time of reflection, compassion, and solidarity, serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of fostering harmony and goodwill in society.

Conclusion:

The attack on foreign students at Gujarat University during Ramadan prayers is a sobering reminder of the challenges that persist in promoting religious tolerance and cultural diversity. As the authorities investigate the incident and work to hold the perpetrators accountable, it is imperative that concerted efforts be made to safeguard the rights and dignity of all individuals, regardless of their background. In the spirit of Ramadan, let us strive to build bridges of understanding and empathy, and stand united against bigotry and violence.

Published: 18th March 2024

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