In the second attack in two days on Indians in Australia, a 25-year-old taxi driver was abused and punched by his passengers, one of who spat on him, an assault described as "opportunistic" and "not racially motivated" by police.
In another incident, three Indians were among a group of six South Asians who were denied entry by a bar in Melbourne in what is being described by them as "a case of racism".
The taxi driver, who was not identified, had bruises on his body and swelling on the face after he was roughed up by four male passengers in the Victorian city of Ballarat, 110-kms west of Melbourne, just before mid-night, police said.
The Ballarat police constables dismissal of the attack on the taxi driver as not racial came even as a top Victorian police official made a candid admission that there were "racists in Melbourne."
In the latest assault, police in a statement said, "the four became abusive towards the Indian driver while he was driving and started assaulting him, with one-of-the passengers in the rear seat even spitting on him."
The passengers attempted to force the vehicle to stop by pulling the hand-break and tried to force the drivers hand from the steering wheel, police added.
As the car pulled over, two of the four passengers tried to flee with the Indian driver giving them a chase. However, the third passenger punched him to the ground.