Afghan students call it ‘hate crime’, seek police protection

Panjim: Stating that the attack on their colleague was a “result of hate crime”, the students from Afghanistan have sought police security fearing for their lives.

24-year-old Afghan student Mathihulla Aria, who was pursuing M Com course at Goa University’s (GU) Goa Business School, was stabbed by a group of four men at Dona Paula on Sunday evening. He was later rushed to a private hospital where he admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and is currently undergoing treatment.

Addressing media persons on Tuesday, an Afghan student Abdul Basit said that Aria, was part of those 32-35 Afghan students, who are pursuing various courses in GU under Indian Council for Cultural Relation (ICCR).

“We don’t know who the attackers were. They were hurling abuses on the victim saying why have you come to our country? This is something very serious. We fear a threat to our lives, too, now. We demand that police protection should be granted to all Afghan students,” Basit demanded.

He said that justice has to be given to Aria, who is a victim of hate crime. “We are not feeling safe in Goa anymore,” the student said.

Meanwhile, the Post-Graduate Students Union has condemned the incident and demanded police protection to the Afghan students.

“We want that justice should be done to Aria. This is not an attack on one student but on an entire student community. We demand that Goa University take the lead and ensure that justice is done to the student,” Union President Sanmesh Shet said.

The Union has threatened to hold a morcha at the Panjim police station, if all of the accused are not arrested within next two days.

Further, Congress and Goa Forward Party student wings have also condemned the attack and demanded immediate justice.

Congress student wing- National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) has also petitioned Director General of Police (DGP) demanding strong action against all those “criminals” who are involved in the case and are trying to spoil the harmony of GU.

“We strongly demand police protection in all colleges of Goa to prevent JNU or Jamia like situation in Goa University considering the unrest that has taken place following the attack,” NSUI North Goa President Naushad Chowdhari said. [H]