Angry mobs chased African students on the streets near the capital New Delhi, beating them with sticks, after a few Nigerians were accused of kidnapping an Indian boy. But many point to the growing discrimination as the cause of the violence.
Mobs have repeatedly attacked Africans in a New Delhi suburb in recent days after rumours that a local boy had been kidnapped by Nigerians.
The surge in violence began over the weekend when a teenage boy disappeared in Greater Noida, outside New Delhi, and angry relatives claimed he'd been killed by Nigerians.
A group of people began searching the area for Africans, with some accusing kidnappers of eating the boy.
The boy returned home Saturday morning but died later that day of an apparent drug overdose.
Police arrested five Nigerian men but let them go within hours, citing lack of evidence.
Since then, Africans have been attacked on the roads and in a shopping mall, and been assaulted after being dragged out of cabs.
A video posted by the Association of African Students in India on its Facebook page shows a crowd beating an African man in a shopping mall.
In the latest attack on Wednesday, a Kenyan woman was pulled out of a taxi and repeatedly slapped and kicked by unknown assailants as she returned to her home in Greater Noida, police said.
The 25-year-old student suffered bruising from the attack and was taken to hospital for treatment.
The African Students' Association has asked Africans across the capital to remain alert and warned those living in Greater Noida from stepping out at all.
It said that a clear number of attacks was impossible to know because of the sheer numbers of calls seeking help.
Hundreds of thousands of Africans live and study in India, drawn by better education and work opportunities.
Rampant racism is a daily battle in a country where their dark skin places them at the lower end of a series of strictly observed social hierarchies.
The callous, daily racism that Africans suffer usually goes unnoticed by others.
In a country obsessed with fair skin and skin-lightening treatments, people with dark skin draw a mixture of fear and ridicule.
Landlords shun Africans in all but the poorest neighbourhoods, and in those they are charged unusually high rent.
African students in the New Delhi neighbourhood of Chhatarapur reported paying 15,000 rupees ($225) a month for a single room and bathroom that would normally rent for 6,000 to 7,000 rupees.
Police have arrested five people over the assaults.
India's foreign ministry condemned the incident as "deplorable" and assured the Nigerian ambassador that all steps were being taken to protect its citizens in India.