Indian student assaulted in MelbourneJune 23rd, 2009 - 4:42 pm ICT by IANS
Melbourne, June 23 (IANS) In what appears to be another racist attack against Indians in Australia, a student from Hyderabad was assaulted while coming out of a hair salon.
Mir Raza Ali Khan, who has been hospitalised after the attack Monday, says it was a racist attack because his money was left untouched.
“I was attacked after I walked out of a salon. Two men came and punched me in the face. It was racist attack because they did not take any money. Police came in after 10 minutes,” Khan was quoted as saying by the website of the CNN-IBN news channel.
This is the 16th such attack on Indians in Australia since May 9.
In New Delhi, India’s Minister of Overseas Affairs Vayalar Ravi met Australia’s Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations secretary Lisa Paul to discuss the issue Tuesday.
“The Australian officials have come to meet me to assure that the Indian students have the full protection of the Australian government. Things are under control except for stray incidents here or there,” Ravi told reporters after his meeting.
Paul, the highest ranking government official to visit India after the attacks, added: “We are dealing with some criminal elements. The police effort is to increase capacity in the vulnerable areas (of Melbourne). We will see a drop in attacks over a period of time.”
There are about 100,000 Indian students in Australia who, some estimates say, contribute Aus $3.5 billion a year to the economy.
The spate of vicious attacks had also sparked protests in Melbourne and Sydney, some of which turned violent.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has already set up a special task force, headed by National Security Adviser Duncan Lewis, to consider the issue. One of the moves being considered is making an SMS encouraging someone to attack overseas students because of their race or nationality a federal offence.
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