Fight breaks out between Afghan and Indian students at Noida university; police books 350 students

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An Indian student was beaten up after a fight broke out between groups of Afghans and Indian students at a private university in Greater Noida on Thursday, prompting the police to book over 350 students for rioting and related offences, officials said.

The scuffle follows another incident which was reported on Monday after a video surfaced on social media purportedly showing three Afghan students at the Sharda University roughing up the student.

“An Indian student from Kashmir was roughed up by other students. Provocative messages are said to have been posted on a WhatsApp group from the side of the Afghan students involved in the fight on Monday. These Indian students were apparently aggrieved over the university’s lackadaisical approach on the matter,” a senior police official told PTI.

The police official, who did not wish to be named, alleged lack of cooperation from the university and said, “The officials of the deemed university have gone careless on the matter simmering since Monday and that has led to this situation.”

There was no official response from the university over the incident till the filing of this report on Thursday night, although the university announced that classes would remain suspended till Sunday. A meeting was held by the university after Thursday’s incident following which three students allegedly involved in the Monday fight were suspended.

“During the period a probe will be held to ascertain the cause of the fight and action taken against those guilty,” another police official said. 

According to the official, no official complaint was made to the police about the scuffle that broke out on Thursday in which one Indian student suffered injuries and was taken to a hospital.

Police force was deployed outside the university along with security personnel of the PAC. The university had also stepped up security on its premises and denied entry to outsiders, including the press.

“The police have taken the cognizance of the case on its own. The Indian student has suffered minor injuries, more of punches and slaps, but was sent for medical examination so that it could be checked if there is any internal injury or not,” the police official told PTI.

“We have booked 350-400 students, Indians and Afghans both, and we are probing the matter. Students are being identified on the basis of the footage that has surfaced and we will soon quiz them and initiate action,” he said.

The policeman said the case has been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 352 (assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation), and related offences and the FIR has been filed at the Knowledge Park police station.

The police have also charged the students under the Section 7 of The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1932, which pertains to any act that impedes another person from doing what they can rightfully do, using intimidation, he said.

The PAC was removed later in the day while officials from the Knowledge Park and some other police stations were still deployed outside the university, he added.

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