• nigeria riot in goa

This is India! 21

Welcome back to This is India! I always have funny/weird stories about India to share with friends or family when I talk to them. This is just meant to be an honest portrayal about my life in India through short anecdotes. I also share here what I’ve been up to online outside Werkenntwen.

What I was up to other than here:

  • This week I’ve been wandering about magical Mysore, land of incense, palaces, and kings! Also, the nicest cleanest city I’ve been to in India.
  • I was featured on the Lonely Planet Pathfinders page (along with lots of other cool travel bloggers) for my post books to inspire travel to India.

Now your story,

I’ll just tell you right away I’m not going to tell you the whole story, but I will link an article here in case you want to read more about this incident. Yes, it’s the daily mail but it tells a decent story.

So, there are a few different mafias in Goa. Sounds nuts, but it’s absolutely true and everyone who lives in Goa knows which nationalities make up Mafia groups. It’s a bit of a touchy subject, so that’s why I’m not saying too much- but this was a huge event that shook me last year, and I wanted to share that on here.

In Parra one day, the village next to ours, a Nigerian man was killed brutally murdered by a group of boys/gangsters. It had to do with drug deals, that much was certain as that’s what all the mafia dudes fight about. There were issues with the cops possibly not dealing with the body and murder appropriately and a MASSIVE riot broke out. The Nigerians beat in the windows of the cop car with the body and grabbed it back out into the middle of the road. I think I remember the news saying over 200 Nigerians came to the scene in the next hour.

Live on TV we could see: Nigeria Riot in Goa. They blocked the street, had the dead body in the road, while locals and Nigerians fought. The Indian guy in charge (police person) said something dumb like “they are Goliath and we are David, the Nigerians are too big so we can’t help” while they let the huge mob of local dudes beat the group of pissed off Nigerians (some really really badly).

The locals were mad because Nigerians were bringing drugs and violence to them, and the Nigerians were mad thinking the police were on the locals side. It was a mess to say that least and absolutely is a story to read in the link above. There’s a lot more to it but I don’t really feel comfortable talking about it on here, so it’s better you read it!

nigeria riot in goaWhat really shook me was that whether or not the Nigerian guys were really here on school visas, or if they were selling- they had been grouped into a “bad drug dealers” group and suddenly people jumped on this racist bandwagon. Trust me, I understand the locals side of view, but there were signs up at bike shops, restaurants, and bars saying:

“No Nigerians allowed, No Drugs”

nigeria riot in goaPlaces weren’t rented bikes to Nigerian people. They were afraid to come out because they didn’t want trouble. It really hit hard because it reminded me of how little control the law has in India in moments of violence and in dangerous situations. Luckily, tensions are down, but even in a place like Goa- nothing is perfect under the screen of “paradise”.

This is India!

feature image photo credit (saris)


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About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Andrea Anastasiou October 24, 2014 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    My goodness, that sounds a bit scary! One of the things that puts me off ever living in India is the lack of law enforcement here. Cases can take years to go to trial – that’s absolutely nuts in my eyes.

    • Rachel Jones October 24, 2014 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      I agree, I tend to judge a place on if I can trust the police.

  2. Justine October 25, 2014 at 10:30 am - Reply

    Wow, that’s an intense story. It’s definitely scary when the local law enforcement just throws their hands up and says they can’t do anything. And the fact that they just watched a bunch of Nigerians get beat up is pretty chilling. There are obviously two sides to the story, but I hate hearing stories where people of a certain ethnicity just get lumped into one category. And it’s really rough that stores wouldn’t serve any Nigerian. The world is definitely an imperfect place. At least the tension has died down a little bit!

  3. Colleen Brynn October 26, 2014 at 6:31 am - Reply

    I remember you telling me about this when I was there. Still can’t believe it… but I can. India, after all.

  4. rebecca October 27, 2014 at 5:52 am - Reply

    Wow! that is crazy! I never would of imagined! I am so oblivious to the idea of how much horror and racism there is in the world sometimes. Thanks for sharing this, its mind opening

  5. Omar Perez October 27, 2014 at 5:56 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel,
    Well when you deal with drugs your life expectancy is very short! Who kill him? The Russians, the Israeli , the Britishs? Another Indians, nepalies? Who knows and by this time nobody will know .. But those acting like they country man was killed by the police while in custody!

    Hopefully this incident ..
    The last..
    Kind regards

    • Rachel Jones October 27, 2014 at 3:48 pm - Reply

      I’d rather not say, but the article there explains it all!

  6. Elora October 27, 2014 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    Certainly keeps you in perspective, doesn’t it? Nothing is ever as perfect as it seems, and often enough–both sides have some wrongs.

  7. Tim | UrbanDuniya October 28, 2014 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Wow… that’s a bit scary. I’m glad you are safe and sound! Things can get out of control very quickly where race and religion are concerned :(

  8. Glamourous Journeyler November 4, 2014 at 6:46 am - Reply

    That’s pretty crazy. Although I must say, we see a lot of similarities in Malaysia as well – i.e. a lot of Nigerians are entering on student visas and a lot are being caught for selling drugs. Not saying if its true or not, I’m sure plenty are here to actually indeed study, but deff gives a bad image to them generally

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