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Another Indian student attacked in Australia

world Updated: May 29, 2009 00:46 IST
HT Correspondent

If you are an Indian wanting to study in Australia, take note: a 25-year-old Indian student has become the latest victim of a racist attack even as another battled for life in hospital after being attacked over the weekend.

Indian student Baljinder Singh begged for his life as he was stabbed with a screwdriver by his amused attackers after leaving a Melbourne railway station, the heraldsun website reported.

As Baljinder screamed for his life on Monday night, his attackers laughed and fled, the report said. “I bent down and one guy stabbed me…I just wanted to save my life and yelled just don’t kill me.”

Several people ran from an apartment block on hearing Baljinder’s cries for help, possibly saving his life. The attackers were Caucasians aged about 20. Both wore hooded tops – one black, the other white.

“We’re not safe here now,” Baljinder said. As many as 93,000 Indian students are currently in Australia, which along with the United States, Britain and Canada, is among the top four nations of choice for our students. Of these, 38,000 are in Victoria state of which Melbourne is the capital.

The latest attack came as Shravan Kumar, 24, fought for life in a hospital here after being stabbed by a group of teens over the weekend that injured three of his friends as well.

Gatecrashers at a party in Hadfield, in Melbourne’s north, attacked Kumar, along with three others, on Saturday night, The Age reported.

The weapon of choice: again a screwdriver.

Earlier this month, Sourabh Sharma, 21, was bashed and robbed on a train. Two persons have now been arrested for the attack on Sharma.

Student Srinivas Vedantam, who witnessed the party assault, said he heard the attackers shouting racial abuse.

“We feel we are not safe in this country…They are taking so many fees and taxes from international students, but they are not protecting us,” Vedantam was quoted as saying.

Following a strong statement from External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Wednesday, the Australian government scrambled to assure Delhi that all international students were welcome in the country.

“As Foreign Minister, I’m appalled by these attacks and I condemn them absolutely,” Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said on Thursday.