The government of India in an attempt to make the country a destination for higher education for students across the globe has instituted several categories of scholarship schemes to ease the financial burdens of the foreign students who want to pursue higher education in India.
In addition to the existing scholarship schemes administered by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), and many others, the government in 2019 initiated yet another scholarship scheme called “Study in India”.
This Scholarship Scheme administered by the Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry is aimed at making high-quality premier education in India at an affordable cost for international students.
The HRD ministry partnered with the top-ranked 100 academic institutions to admit 30,000 students every year into various programs at the bachelor’s degree, Post-graduation, and PhD levels.
Last year alone, more than 70,000 students from 190 countries applied for admissions. The countries that registered the maximum number of applicants were Ethiopia (12,047), Nigeria (11,108), Afghanistan (7,905), Nepal (7,806), Bangladesh (5,902), Kenya (3,626), Tanzania (3,531), Rwanda (2,542), Ghana (2,344) and Uganda (2,018).
In spite of the Indian government’s effort to make India attractive to international students, some colleges and individuals on a daily basis commit crimes against international students in the country.
The most recent incident occurred just yesterday, July 15, 2020, on the campus of Roorkee Institute of Technology.
In an interview with Francis Korang a student and a friend to Benjamin Djartey (the Ghanaian victim) indicated that a misunderstanding between the foreign students and management of the college began some few days after the announcement of the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown.
All local students started leaving the campus to their various hometowns and villages so they (foreign students) numbering 13 also informed the college authorities to allow them to also leave but their request was declined and they promised to provide them with food.
The Ghanaian student made the request because whenever the local students leave the campus they are not fed.
The feeding promised by the authorities stopped a few days after the assurance. The authorities who have earlier on denied some of the students the opportunity to write some exam papers due to their arrears in fees were told that only 3 students who have made full fee payment will be fed from thence.
The feeding of the three students also stopped without any explanation to the students. The foreign students who are from different countries in Africa then requested permission to be allowed to go out to buy foodstuff for cooking but that request too was declined.
They were told to give money to the security guards to do the shopping for them anytime they need to buy anything. They complied and adhered to the authorities’ orders even though they weren’t happy.
In June, Benjamin Djartey who has a back pain problem run out of medication so he went to the college authorities for permission to go and buy the medicine but due to the lockdown he couldn’t get some to buy.
His condition started deteriorating so his Guinean friend by the name Ibrahim Diaby Mohammed decided to jump the wall to buy him the medicine and also took the opportunity to shop for foodstuff for their cooking.
He had been caught on CCTV cameras by the security guards so they monitored him and prevented him from entering the campus. He was made to stay outside from 5 pm till 1 am before the gate was opened for him.
The students found out that the security guards had all along being inflating the price of the foodstuffs so they asked the authorities to allow them to be buying their own foodstuffs.
They were told to elect two persons to be doing the shopping on their behalf. The college authorities not happy with what Ibrahim did probably due to his discovery of the actual price of goods at the market, reported him to the police.
When the police came for him and he explained everything to them, the school authorities were told that he cannot be evicted. The authorities not happy with the decision of the police hatched a plan to forcibly evict Ibrahim but he resisted anytime they made an attempt.
Yesterday July 15, the authorities together with security guards numbering about 30 all armed with sticks reportedly stormed the students’ hostel and told Ibrahim to leave the campus.
When he told them he has nowhere to move to at that moment the security guards started assaulting him by dragging him on the staircase from the 3rd floor. They pounced on him when they got to the ground floor with the sticks which will not even be used on an animal.
Benjamin who tried to rescue his friend was not spurred either. Both of them were hit severally with the sticks by the security guards while the college authorities stood by watching.
Benjamin who already had a back problem got his collar bone fractured whiles Ibrahim also had multiply injuries including a head injury.
Both students were sent to Aarogyam Medical College & Hospital, Roorkee in Uttarakhand State.
The case has been reported to both Ghana and Guinea High Commissions in India and a formal complaint has also been lodged with the local police in Roorkee.
Source: National Updates
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