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Don't break the law, Australian PM warns Indian students

india Updated: Sep 17, 2009 21:07 IST

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Thursday warned students from India not to take the law into their own hands after writer and activist Farrukh Dhondy reportedly urged Indians in the country for "some form of retaliation" following the brutal assault on four Indians in Melbourne.

Dhondy has urged Indians in Australia to take matters into their own hands, The Age reported on Thursday.

"There really has to be some form of retaliation from the Indian community as a whole. India has to stand up," he told ABC Radio.

Rudd said Australia was a law-abiding nation.

"The laws are there for a purpose and that is for all citizens to adhere to them," he was quoted as saying by The Age.

When asked what message he had for anyone who took the law into their own hands, Rudd said: "People should not".

The four Indians were attacked by a group outside a bar in Epping on Saturday and the attackers told the victims "You Indians, just go back to your country".

The attack comes as Victoria's Premier John Brumby prepares to go on a mission to India to help repair Australia's reputation.

The victims say they were bashed by up to 70 people in a car park in High Street at Epping on Saturday night.

But the police say there were only four or five offenders, although there were another 15 people making racist comments.

There have been a string of attacks on Indian students since May this year. The attacks have caused an uproar in India.

India's External Affairs Minister SM Krishna was assured by Canberra that students from India would be taken care of.

The latest attack takes place after a brief lull in such incidents in which the victims maintain that the assaults were racially motivated.

The brother-in-law of two of the victims, Onkar Singh, had told ABC's AM programme that his relatives have suffered serious injuries.

"Sukhdip got very badly injured in that, and Gurdeep has his jaw broken, and Mukhtair's (the uncle) shoulder is broken," he was quoted as saying.

"When the attack happened there was a lot of people, about 70 and they might have run away or something because they can all see the whole car park was full with them."