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Another Indian attacked in Oz; one person arrested

In yet another attack targeting Indians in Australia, a 28-year-old man from the community was beaten up by a group of locals on a Sydney beach, prompting police to arrest one of the assailants.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2010 20:29 IST

In yet another attack targeting Indians in Australia, a 28-year-old man from the community was beaten up by a group of locals on a Sydney beach, prompting police to arrest one of the assailants.

The Indian, a permanent resident, was assaulted on Coogee Beach in Sydney on Monday, authorities said on Tuesday.

The New South Wales Police arrested a person in connection with the attack and charged him with assault "occasioning actual bodily harm and affray," they said in a statement.

A court today granted the arrested person bail with conditions. The matter is listed to come up before the court again on February 24.

Investigations are going on regarding any other individuals who may have been involved in the incident, the statement said, adding the victim is being kept informed of developments by the New South Wales police.

The victim, who refused to be named apparently due to safety reasons, told PTI that he was kicked and punched by a group of assailants.

He said he had been living in Australia for the past 11 years and had never experienced such a thing before. Police arrived 40 minutes after the incident and caught one person, he said.

While the man did not receive any external wounds, he said he was having severe pain in his neck, back and head.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said that India and Australia shared an "excellent relationship" and did not want the issue of attacks on Indians, mostly students, here to disturb their ties.

Smith said he rang up his Indian counterpart S M Krishna yesterday after returning from holidays to brief him about the investigations.

"We both agreed this was an issue we did not want to disturb or get in the way of what the External Affairs Minister (Krishna) described as an excellent relationship," he was quoted as saying by AAP today.

In a strong message, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi yesterday asked Australia to take "all possible steps" to contain assaults on Indians, saying it was their "primary responsibility".

Ravi said in New Delhi that Australia would have to convince the Indian government and its people about steps taken to protect Indian citizens.

Nearly 100 cases of attacks on Indians had been reported in Australia in 2009 as against 17 incidents of assaults in 2008.

21-year-old student Nitin Garg was the first victim of such assaults this year, who was stabbed to death by unidentified assailants while he was on his way to his part-time job in a restaurant here.

Another Indian youth, 25-year-old Ranjodh Singh, was killed in the neighbouring New South Wales late last month. His half-charred body was found on a roadside. However, the incident was reported only a week back.