Australia opposition leader slams government for attacks on Indians

May 29th, 2009 - 1:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, May 29 (IANS) The attacks on international students has been going on “without any government intervention”, an opposition leader in Australia’s Victoria state said Friday in reference to the assault on Indian students, adding “sadly, the issue is not new”.
Opposition leader Ted Baillieu said the assaults on students had been going on for three years, “without any government intervention”, The Herald Sun reported.

“Sadly, the issue is not new - we’ve been raising these concerns for nearly three years and the problem’s got worse, not better.

“Scores of young students have been attacked. Many students have been left not only brutally injured, but devastated and scared. Many remain too intimidated to report assaults,” said Baillieu.

The police have denied the spate of attacks on Indian students was racially motivated.

Three attacks on Indian students have taken place in quick succession, with the first incident being reported May 9 while the most recent took place Monday.

Sravan Kumar Theerthala, a 25-year-old Indian student who was assaulted Sunday in Melbourne along with three other students, is battling for his life in intensive care unit in a hospital.

Theerthala, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, went to Melbourne to study two years ago.

The attackers allegedly hurled racist abuses at Indian students and hit them with a screwdriver.

Another Indian student Baljinder Singh was robbed and stabbed in Melbourne Monday.

He had left a railway station when two men carrying weapons approached him and demanded money. As he searched through his bag to hand over his wallet he was stabbed in the abdomen, Herald Sun reported.

He said: “They just laughed when they stabbed me in the stomach. They laughed at me…I was screaming ‘don’t kill me, don’t kill me’.” Baljinder was released from hospital Friday.

Australian police Thursday arrested two teenagers over the beating of yet another Indian student on a Melbourne train.

Sourabh Sharma, 21, was beaten by a group of young men as he travelled on a train May 9, Herald Sun reported.

Sharma suffered a fractured cheek bone and a broken tooth in the attack, which was captured on closed circuit television cameras.

He said he was also racially abused and robbed during the attack.

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