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16th Indian student attacked in Australia

A 20-year-old student from Hyderabad became the latest victim of an alleged racist attack in Melbourne even as Australia’s education secretary Lisa Paul met overseas affairs minister Vayalar Ravi in New Delhi to discuss the safety of Indian students in her country.

india Updated: Jun 24, 2009 02:06 IST
Vikas Pathak and Ashok Das

A 20-year-old student from Hyderabad became the latest victim of an alleged racist attack in Melbourne even as Australia’s education secretary Lisa Paul met overseas affairs minister Vayalar Ravi in New Delhi to discuss the safety of Indian students in her country.

This is the 16th attack on Indians in Australia in the past month.

Mir Kazim Ali Khan, who is doing a two-year diploma course in Hospitality Management at the Victoria Institute of Technology, Melbourne, was assaulted by two men on Monday evening.

Mir Kazim was punched so badly that he suffered cuts below his eyes and forehead and was admitted to a hospital where he received multiple stitches on his face.

“I was returning from a salon when two men wearing hooded jackets walked up to me and repeatedly punched me without any provocation,” Mir Kazim reportedly told his family in Hyderabad. The police arrived within 10 minutes and shifted him to hospital.

Mir Kazim moved to Australia in 2007. “He chose Australia over other places because it was considered a good place with good people and culture,” Mir Kazim’s brother Mir Raza Ali Khan told HT.

“The attack obviously looks racial, as there was no attempt to rob him,” Mir Raza added.

In New Delhi, India asked Australia to increase police patrolling in vulnerable areas.

Australia was also asked to regulate university agents there, who contact Indian students through agents here. There have been cases of students being misled about the institution they would be admitted to.

Paul, Australia’s visiting official, said, “The attacks are happening in areas that that are already vulnerable to criminal activity,” she said. Several arrests have been made and police patrolling had already been increased.

“The Victorian government is tightening legislation relating to crimes that may have racist angles,” she said.

“The situation is gradually improving,” said minister Vayalar Ravi. “We are in touch with Australia to ensure no attack takes place.”