LSE and King’s students suffer violent hate crime

By Jack Beeching

An LSE student and two students from King’s College London, all of whom are from Pakistan,  allege that they were verbally and physically assaulted in a racially motivated attack.

Ahmad Maudood Ausaf, a second-year LSE law student, and his housemates Noor Ul Huda and Salar Rashid, who study law at KCL, were travelling home on the Central line at 1 a.m. on Saturday 4 March. Two “visibly inebriated” men entered the carriage and began verbally abusing the students, calling them “brown bitches” and asking “what the fuck [they] were doing here”, Maudood said. Noor and Salar, returning from a cultural event, were wearing shalwar kameez.

The men left the carriage at Redbridge station. After disembarking, one threw an unopened can of beer at the students, which narrowly missed Maudood’s face. When another passenger challenged this, the men physically assaulted him. Maudood, Noor, and Salar protested; “for a moment it looked like they were going to push him onto the train tracks”, Maudood said. One assailant turned and threatened the students, then grappled and punched Salar, bruising him.

The students chased the assailants off, then took their injured fellow passenger to the station office, where staff called the police. Later that night, the police called to inform the housemates that they had arrested one of the alleged perpetrators. After making statements, the three students returned home. Maudood told The Beaver that he has been unable to sleep since. 

“That international students who have to pay a fortune to ‘experience’ foreign education have to go through such base and blatant acts of racism is unfortunate and deeply unjust”, Maudood said.

Home Office figures reveal that there were 155,841 hate crimes in England and Wales last year, a 26 percent increase on the previous year. The number of these that are against students is unclear. 

Since the assault, the students have contacted their respective university leadership. Baroness Minouche Shafik offered her condolences via email, telling Maudood that this “should not happen in a civil society and hopefully those individuals who attacked you will be punished.

“Fortunately, LSE is a community in which you are a vital part and where such behaviour would not be tolerated”, Shafik added. 

The attack has been scarring for the students: “You can’t live when your mind is fine tuned to be so hyper vigilant”, Salar told The Beaver. In email correspondence, LSE leadership referred Maudood to Dr Pete Evanson, Deputy Head of Student Services. Professor David Kershaw, Dean of LSE Law School, also offered to contact the police on Maudood’s behalf, “to understand how [he would] be informed about the process”.

An LSE spokesperson said, “As outlined in our Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Policy, hate crimes of any kind have no place at LSE and are totally unacceptable. We all have a responsibility to treat others with respect and dignity at all times and the School takes any reports of hate crimes extremely seriously.

“If you have experienced, or witnessed, any form of violence, discrimination, bullying or harassment on or off campus you can speak to a Safe Contact who will be able to offer further information and support.

“You can also report to LSE directly by using the online form Report it Stop it. This report can be completely anonymous. We would also urge you to report any hate crimes to the police on this website.” 


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