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Indian student faces deportation from Aus

india Updated: Aug 14, 2009 13:58 IST

IANS
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Indian student Shivendra Singh, who is suffering from severe depression after being the victim of three armed robberies, is being "threatened with deportation", a media report said on Friday.

The 30-year-old IT student, who came to the Australian city of Adelaide from Uttar Pradesh in India, wants to take his skills back to India but has been caught in a dilemma not of his own making, ABC Online reported.

He was robbed while manning the counter of a corner shop in late 2004.

"It was my first job. I was working there and there was a guy... and actually it happened three times and it was the same guy who did those robberies," he was quoted as saying.

"It was really bad. I had nightmares continuously about whether I should have done something. But I was not able to do anything," Singh said.

He said, thereafter, "everything fell apart in my life".

"I didn't realise... culture-wise as well that I can be a patient of depression, but as I went on I just realised that my concentration in studies and other things were worsening."

There has been a string of assaults on Indian students in Melbourne and Sydney over the past three months. The attacks caused an outrage in India and the Australian government assured that the students would be protected.

Nearly 100,000 students from India are enrolled in various courses in Australia. The country's education sector has been rocked due to the attacks with many fearing a downturn in the number of international students enrolling in Australian colleges.

Singh ended up on friends' couches and on the street after "failing subjects, unable to work and viewed as a failure by his family".

He has been recently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, severe depression and suicidal thoughts.

"This is a tragic story," Sandy McFarlane, a post-traumatic stress disorder expert, told ABC1's Lateline.

"This man was extremely vulnerable and had no idea of his entitlements.

"I think it's an indictment of the workers' compensation system that a foreign student like Mr Singh is left in such a state of impoverishment that he ends up on the street and unable to continue his studies.

"Basically it was devastating for this poor man."

Singh has also been financially exploited by a third party who had pretended to help.

Now his right to stay in Australia has almost expired.

Singh has sought an extension to his student visa but has been rejected by the migration tribunal and last week by Immigration Minister Chris Evans.

His lawyer Abbi Hamden said she told the minister that the student genuinely wanted his Master's degree and did not not want to stay in Australia long term.

"He would like to go back home with a bride and with his degree, however the minister did not take that into account and rejected his visa," she said.

Singh says he does not want to go home as a failure.

"I will be socially outcast. That is the answer, I will be socially outcast."