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Were Gambians among foreign students attacked during Ramadan prayers at Indian university?

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A delegation from The Gambia High Commission in India on Tuesday visited Gujarat University campus and held a meeting with its vice chancellor over safety  for Gambian students following an attack on foreign students offering Ramadan prayers in the varsity’s premises.

About 29 Gambian students are studying at the state-run university.

Vice-Chancellor Neerja Gupta told reporters that The Gambia High Commission officials expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by university authorities for the safety of students after the incident, which took place on the night of March 16.

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Gujarat police say five students were treated for injuries and they have arrested five. India’s foreign ministry said the Gujarat government was taking “strict action” against the perpetrators.

Police commissioner of Ahmedabad city, GS Malik, told reporters that around two dozen people entered the hostel on Saturday night and objected to the students offering prayers.

“They argued over the issue, assaulting them and hurling stones. They also vandalised their rooms,” he said.

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Police have not confirmed whether the men are connected to any political or religious organisations.

Videos circulating online showed a mob raising Hindu religious slogans as they attacked the students, vandalised vehicles and pelted stones.

Navid Siddique, a student from Afghanistan who was injured in the attack, told the Times of India newspaper that he and other students were offering Taraweeh prayers when three people entered the hostel and began questioning them.

“An argument ensued and they returned with a larger mob armed with stones, iron pipes and attacked us. They went on a rampage in the hostel assaulting students in their rooms and damaging property and vehicles,” he told the newspaper.

The Standard could not elicit a comment from officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday to confirm if any Gambian student was involved and their current status.

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