A series of attacks and counter attacks has taken place in the city between these students over the Baifra issue.

Nigerians clash in Bengaluru over secessionist struggle back home four attacks in 20 daysRepresentation photo
news Crime Monday, September 25, 2017 - 09:09

The secessionist struggle in Nigeria is playing out on Bengaluru’s streets with students from the African country clashing over this issue multiple times.

According to a report by the Times of India, the Bengaluru Police are now mulling over getting theses students deported.

A series of attacks and counter attacks has taken place in the city between these students over the Baifra issue. In the wee hours of Sunday, a dozen Nigerian students created a ruckus in Hennur.

They allegedly attacked the residence of Elvis Ohachosim, a 39-year-old fellow Nigerian, and set his car ablaze.

According to DCP North East, Girish, this was a counter attack in retaliation to Elvis attacking two Nigerian friends on Saturday evening.

He said that Sunday’s attack was not the first time the Nigerians fought over the Baifra issue.

“This has been going on since the beginning of September. On September 3, Nigerian citizen N Chigozie, a resident of Hennur, died. Investigations suggest that he may have died after clashes between the gangs at an African restaurant in Kothanur,” DCP Girish added.

The Bengaluru police have filed four cases against these two Nigerian groups since September 3.

According to Elvis’ complaint, 12 people arrived at his house in Vaddarapalya at around 3am on Sunday.

“The man knew he was in trouble so he did not open the door. His car was parked in front of his house and they set it ablaze instead. He has also said that the gang threatened to kill him,” the DCP added.

An FIR was filed at the Hennur Police Station later on Sunday against the 12 Nigerians. Elvis’ car was not completely gutted as a few of his neighbours helped him put out the fire after the gang left.

According to the police, Chigozie was found dead near Geddalahalli railway track on September 3. The Kothanur police had thought it was a road accident. After preliminary investigation, a case of murder was registered. The police are now awaiting the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report.

Chigozie's brother Nonso Odedike, has filed a complaint accusing a group of Nigerians led by a man named Aiwa, of attacking him and Chigozie at a restaurant named African Kitchen in Kothanur, on September 2.

“Chigozie’s brother has said that they were having dinner at African Kitchen on the night of September 2. They were discussing the Baifra issue when they were attacked. Six people were arrested in the case and are now out on bail,” a senior police official said.

Nonso, in his complaint states that when the attack occurred, they fled the spot. He says that his brother may have been killed while trying to escape.

The senior official said that two groups – one supporting Nonzo and the other supporting the six accused in Chigozie’­s murder, have been clashing repeatedly after September 3, the senior police officer said.

Elvis is believed to be a Nonso supporter, who allegedly attacked Christoper Okwi Onuigbo and his friend Ani Charles. The duo were part of the six-member gang arrested for Chigozie’s murder.

The Kothanur Police filed a complaint against six people including Elvis for the attack on Saturday night.

“There are two gangs of Nigerians who are clashing over political reasons. We will submit a report about them to the Foreign Regional Registration Office,” DCP Girish said.

Police said the accused in all four cases are Nigerian nationals and had come to India on business or student visas.

What is the Baifra issue?

In the late 1960s, the republic of Biafra was formed in eastern Nigeria. This secessionist state was set up by some tribes led by Igbos.

The Nigerian army defeated the secessionists and Biafra was made a part of Nigeria in 1970.

Ever since the defeat, a movement for a separate state of Biafra has been active in Nigeria. The marginalisation of the Igbos tribe is the central cause for the conflict.



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