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Indian taxi driver assaulted by passenger in Australia

world Updated: Jan 15, 2010 09:16 IST

In yet another attack on Indians in Australia, a 24-year-old taxi driver has been allegedly abused and assaulted by a passenger and his vehicle damaged in the Victorian city of Ballarat.

The 48-year-old passenger was arrested after he attacked the cabbie last night, an AAP report said adding that the Indian taxi driver did not receive any major injuries.

After he was verbally abused by the passenger, the cabbie sought refuge at a Ballarat service station at about 2.15 am (local time) but the passenger followed him into the service station and allegedly assaulted him, a police spokeswoman was quoted as saying.

The taxi was also damaged in the incident, she said.

A man from Navigators, near Ballarat, was arrested at the scene and remains in police custody, the AAP report said. He is expected to be interviewed by police later Friday.

Meanwhile, in an exclusive report in 'The Age', Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor has pointed out two main areas of concern.

He said first, Australia has a crime problem in the suburbs that it must attend to, and second, India was within its rights to speak out when its citizens face danger.

"The whole racism issue has really coloured this debate in an unhealthy way, because when our media either seizes on that, or the Australian media in turn respond critically, we are essentially dealing with not black or brown or white, but red herrings," he said.