‘Please stay calm’
The Federation of Indian students in Australia (FISA) called for calm on Saturday, amidst concerns that Indian students in Melbourne want to take action against the Australian government, following a recent wave of violence.
FISA’s chairperson, Gautam Gupta said he received around 300 emails on Friday night from various Melbourne-based Indian student groups, three of whom wanted to organise public protests. “I’m requesting all of them to please stay calm, both the governments are talking, we are in direct contact with them and any other action will be pre-emptive,” Gupta told the Hindustan Times, speaking at the Royal Melbourne Hospital where Indian student Sravan Kumar Theerthala is fighting for his life, after a stabbing incident at a Melbourne party last weekend.
Theerthala’s cousin, Lakhshmi Narasimha Rao, 26, a sub-contractor in Australia, said the 21-year-old is in a critical but stable condition, despite doctors predicting he would not survive, two days after the attack. Rao said he was feeling “comfortable” because the international media frenzy surrounding the attack have ensured his cousin’s medical and travel expenses will be covered. “The Australian doctors are providing him with the best care,” he said. He added that his cousin’s attack had changed his views about life in Australia.
“We in India think that life in Australia is a bit more developed than back home, we would think our future is bright,” he said. “Now I prefer living in Melbourne’s city, not in the suburbs.” FISA confirmed late Saturday that a peaceful rally will take place from Melbourne Royal Hospital to the Victorian parliament on Sunday, to promote peace and harmony following the week of sporadic attacks.