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Friday, January 22, 2010

Indians attacked in Australia

Two more Indians assaulted in Australia

Indians attacked in Australia
January 22 2010 : Despite assurances by Australian leadership, attacks on Indians continued with two more youths, including a cabbie, being brutally assaulted and robbed in separate overnight incidents in Brisbane.

The Indian community in Brisbane says it fears two bashings last night were copycat crimes triggered by a spate of attacks on students in Melbourne and Sydney.

Two Indian men were bashed on the city's south side in separate incidents, but police say there is no evidence to suggest they were racially targeted. One Indian man was attacked at a phone box near Macgregor State High School, police said.

They say he was making a phone call to his home in India when he was punched twice in the head. His cigarettes and his wallet were then stolen. Police say the other incident involved an Indian taxi driver with two drunk passengers, who punched him repeatedly in the head over a fare dispute.

"Generally the clearest indicator [of the motivation for an attack] are comments made by the offenders to the individuals," Acting Commissioner Kathy Rynders said.

"Both complainants in these matters have said there were no comments in relation to their ethnicity by the offenders during last night's attack." But the taxi driver who was attacked last night, Sandeep Goyam, is now considering returning to India.

"I don't think I will be much longer in this country," he said. Police have already charged two men over the attack on Mr Goyam, but the assaults have shaken the Indian community in Brisbane.

The Queensland president of the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin, Umesh Chandra, says locals fear the assaults in Brisbane were triggered by the spate of attacks on Indians in Melbourne and Sydney.

"I firmly do believe that it is part of the chain reaction and it is a copycat because what's happened there, people have been talking about something like that possibly happening here," he said.

"And here it is right on our doorstep. It's happened last night. And there is a fear that this could escalate." Mr Umesh says the Indian community would like police to make details of the crimes and arrests public so they can see something is being done.

He says a tough approach by authorities would also help repair Australia's international reputation. Mr Umesh has just returned from India and he says people there are very aware of the attacks on their countrymen.

"They are very, very aware. They are very worried," he said. Even though police are playing down any racial motivation for last night's attacks, they have extra security planned for Australia Day.

"We certainly have a big operation planned for Australia Day," Queensland's Acting Police Commissioner Rynders said. "Across the state we've got extra police deployed. We will be deploying them according to the intelligence.

"But we have no concerns at this point in time and there's no intelligence to indicate that any particular member of our communities are being targeted by any individuals."

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