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Protest over attack on Indian student

Dozens of cabbies are protesting the incident when a 23-year-old Indian taxi driver was stabbed several times in Melbourne.

india Updated: May 01, 2008 02:54 IST

Protesting against the stabbing of an Indian taxi driver, dozens of cabbies on Wednesday took off their shirts and blocked a busy intersection in Melbourne, disrupting vehicular movement.

Shouting "we want justice" and "shame, shame Victoria police", some among several hundred drivers took off their shirts in a freezing morning on Wednesday, media reports said.

Agitating cabbies, who want the government to take swift action, have also come up with several demands, including compensation for the cabbie and severe punishment for the offender.

The drivers also want driver safety screens, pre-paid taxi rides, special protection at certain railway stations and suburbs after hours, and more help from police. They said they would march through the city today to demand a meeting with Transport Minister Lynne Kosky.

The rally came after a 23-year-old Indian taxi driver was stabbed in Melbourne early on Tuesday. He was stabbed several times in the chest by a passenger and left to die.

The Indian, who was lying injured for over two hours, was found at 6 am local time disoriented and with hypothermia near a hotel in Clifton Hill, several hundred metres from his smashed car and was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

Last night, police released video images of the attack and arrested one 45-year-old Parish Charles.

Expressing sympathy towards victim's family, an Indian taxi operator, Harpreet Singh, said, "Many Indian students are taxi drivers as they can earn good money and raise their university fee. It is sad to see how these students become the target."

"These students are new to the place and does not know anything about the place and people they are carrying. I think Indian students should not be allowed to drive cabs," Singh added.