Australian High Commissioner to India Peter Varghese on Saturday said the racist e-mail sent by a police officer in Victoria state was “offensive and unacceptable” though he argued that it was wrong to tar the entire police force on the actions of two people.
Varghese was summoned at the external affairs ministry and handed over a demarche over reports that police officers in Victoria had been caught joking in a racist e-mail about the electrocution of a train passenger in India.
The ministry expressed concern at the "entrenched bias" in the law enforcement community of Victoria State.
Varghese told reporters outside South Block that the incident has been “condemned in the strongest possible term”.
“This is an e-mail which is offensive and unacceptable,” he said, adding that it was “completely contrary” to the mores of the Victorian community.
The officers in Victoria circulated video footage of the electrocution of a man who was travelling on the roof of a crowded train in India and suggested it could be a way to fix Melbourne's Indian students' problem, according to a report in the Herald Sun.
Varghese said: “This involves two policemen, neither of them are senior policemen. I don't think you should tar the entire Victorian police with the action of two policemen.”
He added that it was “very unfortunate that this incident has detracted from the number of positive steps taken by Victorian police”, including the setting up of a round-the-clock help centre for Indians.
Varghese pointed out that both the Victorian government and police commissioner had condemned the incident.