Mumbai/Panaji: Around 50 Nigerians were arrested today after they clashed with police and blocked the busy Mumbai-Goa NH17 to protest the death of a fellow national.
Obina Paul Obric, 30, was found dead with multiple stab wounds at Parra village, about 4km from Calangute, after a suspected drugs-related clash late last night. Another national, identified as Obala Osama, was injured in the clash.
According to the police, 15-20 Nigerians blocked the highway, which links Mapusa to Panaji, at Porvorim and stopped a hearse carrying the body to Goa Medical College for post-mortem. They forcibly removed the stretcher carrying the body and kept it on the road demanding the arrest of the killers.
The group also attacked a police van escorting the hearse. Their numbers swelled to 150 as the police called for additional reinforcements. The highway remained blocked for nearly an hour.
Police sources said while 24 Nigerians were arrested for disturbing peace, 26 were held under preventive sections.
The protest brought Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar to the spot. He told reporters the state would not tolerate such protests by foreigners and added that he would ask the police to conduct a drive to verify the visa details of all Nigerians and deport those staying illegally.
When contacted by The Telegraph, BJP MLA from Calangute Michael Lobo alleged that Nigerians were misusing their student visa, acquired to study in metro cities like Mumbai, Pune and Delhi, and involved in peddling drugs.
“The menace of Nigerians is growing. Only 19 African nationals are officially registered with Foreign Regional Registration Office. So, the others are either overstaying illegally or are registered outside Goa but live here,” Lobo said.
He met Parrikar after the protest and demanded that the home department take stringent action against the Nigerians.