Students from various African countries and other foreign students staying around Hesaraghatta area where the assault took place, are now swarmed with rumours of more attacks to come, The Hindu newspaper reported.
Students from African nations avoided classes on Thursday. Some, who have taken up private accommodation, are even planning to move into hostels, which now seem safer.
“We used to stay as a group in AGB Layout in a ground floor house. It is a 4-km walk from college to our house, but it was worth it as all our roommates are from the same city. We usually have small arguments with locals when they do not understand what we are saying, but this is a serious matter. Now, we are thinking of staying in the hostel,” said Kenyan student Manase, who did not want his full name revealed.
A Sri Lankan national, who said he was Andrew, said: “We have taken our landlord’s number and will depend on him to translate. We will try to stay at home for now.”
On Thursday afternoon, only a few foreign students were seen on the main road leading to Hesaraghatta, which normally bustles with foreign students thronging eateries.
Even those few on the streets also refused to talk about the incident or the apparent threat perceptions they are experiencing.
Meanwhile, colleges in the area that have foreign students are also advising them to stay indoors and not speak to any non-college official.
On Thursday, in the light of unconfirmed reports of threats to students from African nations, colleges chose to close their gates to outsiders during work hours. In Acharya Institute of Technology (AIT), where two of the students who were attacked study, all college gates remained closed and even students and faculty were not allowed to exit during work hours.
Once a small but bustling lane, with three major colleges on the route, the entire area has now become a major draw for students with several new colleges setting up campuses in the vicinity.
A thriving community of students from countries like Iran, Afghanistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and other nations live and study in colleges around Soladevanahalli. Like AIT, Sapthagiri College and Raghavendra College have also been functioning for over 10 years in the area and have foreign students studying there. (Colombo Gazette)