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Indians told to look poor to avoid attacks

world Updated: Feb 08, 2010 00:40 IST
Natasha Chaku

Victorian police chief Simon Overland has advised Indian students in Australia to keep a low profile and “try to look as poor as you can” to avoid attacks.

A senior government functionary, not willing to be named as he is not authorised to speak to media, called it a ridiculous statement. “Everybody wants better prospects in life. That was a ridiculous statement to make,” he said.

Indian students could make themselves less of a target if they do not display their expensive gadgets, Oliver said. “Don’t display your iPods, don’t display your valuable watch, don’t display your jewellery. Try to look as poor as you can,” he was quoted as saying by The Age.

“If you can live somewhere safer, live somewhere safer,” he said. “If you can avoid public transport into high-risk areas late at night, avoid it.”

Victorian Premier John Brumby defended his top cop, saying the advice to the overseas students to avoid crime, as per Overland, was a comment about high crime areas.

“He may have been making the point that in some areas, there are higher crime rates than in others,” the Premier was quoted as saying by AAP.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Indian Student Association rejected Overland’s remarks with its spokesperson, Gautam Gupta, calling the police chief’s advice “ridiculous”.