Indian student claims drug addicts torched his car in Melbourne

June 7th, 2009 - 1:43 pm ICT by ANI  

Amitabh Bachchan Melbourne, June 7 (ANI): A car belonging to an Indian student was torched in Melbourne on Saturday night, but the police have ruled out any racial motive behind the incident.

According to 22-year-old Vikrant Rajesh Ratan, along with his car, two other cars, also belonging to Indians, were damaged.

“We were sleeping when it all happened. We heard the fire alarm of the car. When we went out to see what happened we saw the cars on fire,” Ratan claimed, adding that drug addicts may first tried to unlock the car, and on not being able to do, set it on fire using petrol.

Ratan said that he is currently pursuing a certificate course in automotive engineering, and added that he bought the car for 2500 dollars. The damaged car, he said was not insured.

Recent attacks on Indian students in Australia have sparked dismay in New Delhi and warnings that the violence could lead to a fall-off in the number of students coming to Australia to study.

In Melbourne last weekend, about 2,000 demonstrators from the Indian community marched in protest at the rising violence.

Bollywood has decided not film movies in Australia’s scenic locales in protest against the attacks.

Last weekend, Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan rejected an honorary doctorate from a Brisbane University in protest against the attacks on Indian students.

Canberra is battling to reassure New Delhi that Australians aren’t racist; fearful the outcry over violent assaults may harm relations and stop the flow of education dollars.

Australia is a major destination for Indian students studying abroad, who recognize the high quality and cost competitiveness of Australian education services.

Australia’s international education sector is the country’s third largest export earner, behind coal and iron ore, totalling 13 billion Australian dollars in 2007-08.

Enrolments of Indian students in Australia have increased at an average annual rate of around 41 per cent since 2002. There were over 97,035 Indian enrolments in Australia in 2008. (ANI)

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