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Despite Australia's assurances, more attacks on Indians

Another Indian student, Amrit Pal Singh (20) from Haryana, was attacked in Melbourne on Friday, making him the 10th Indian to be assaulted in the space of a month. This despite assurances from the Australian government that it would not tolerate racial violence. Dheepthi Namasivayam reports.

india Updated: Jun 06, 2009 01:11 IST
Dheepthi Namasivayam

Another Indian student, Amrit Pal Singh (20) from Haryana, was attacked in Melbourne on Friday, making him the 10th Indian to be assaulted in the space of a month, PTI reported. This despite assurances from the Australian government that it would not tolerate racial violence.

<b1>The continuing attacks on young Indians has left the community unsettled. Abhishek Patel (25), who was attacked by a group of young, drunk men and women late on Wednesday in Sydney while waiting to pick up his brother from a train station, said he “thinks twice” about returning to the station.

“I parked my car next to the station and saw some guys shouting and throwing rubbish and thought this place was not safe for me,” the IT professional who hails from Gujarat said.

He was about to move out when the group, looking for money and cellphones, smashed the car window. The shards of glass hit Patel in his face, eyes and forehead. He filed a police report immediately.

Nursing student Nardeep Singh (20), who suffered injuries when he was slashed with a knife in Melbourne, told The Age newspaper he wanted to return to India after being attacked twice in his first month in Australia.

While racism may have played a part in the recent spate of assaults, Victorian Police Commissioner Simon Overland said on Thursday that the majority of the attacks are driven by “much broader social problems”.

Statistics released by the Victorian police in April reflect this, with a two per cent jump in assaults since 2008.
Detective Sergeant Michael Grumley, head of the unit that probed the assault on student Baljinder Singh, said the phenomenon was “worrying” and “frustrating”. “There’s a group of kids coming through who are developing into violent individuals who have no regard for any person,” he told Hindustan Times. “I don’t know how to stop them.”

What is clear is that foreigners are targeted. “If you’ve got 90 Indians and 10 Asians living in a suburb, if an offence occurs, there’s a 90 per cent chance that the victim will be Indian,” Grumley said.