5/28/09

Indian Students Attacked, Burgled in Racist Australia - Watch Video

. 5/28/09

India on Wednesday expressed shock over the racist attack on four Indian students in Melbourne and asked Australia to take steps to prevent such incidents on Indian students. Reminding Australian authorities of their responsibility, external affairs minister S M Krishna said he was appalled by the racist attack, which has left 25-year-old student, Sravan Kumar Theerthala, battling for his life.

“I have been appalled by the attack on our students in Melbourne. Our consulate general in Melbourne has been in touch with the students affected and with the state police,” Mr Krishna said in a statement.


India’s high commissioner in Canberra, Sujata Singh, rushed to Melbourne where Theerthala, a student of automotive engineering at Cambridge International College, is battling for his life. Agency reports quoted Kumar’s friend, Sinivas Gandhi, who was also a victim of the attack, as saying that the attackers abused them and told them to go back to India . He further said the police had asked them to take care of their own security and been told that the police “can’t go on protecting each and everyone” .

The three other students were discharged after medical treatment, but Kumar, who lived in Australia for two years, is in ICU. All four students are from Andhra Pradesh. “Our high commissioner in Canberra has rushed to Melbourne to take stock of the situation and to ensure that the student , who has been seriously injured, receives the best possible treatment and that the culprits are brought to book,” Mr Krishna said.

The minister said India has also taken up the issue with Australia . “We will also impress upon the Australian authorities that such attacks should not be permitted and that it is their responsibility to ensure the well-being and security of our students studying in Australia,” he added.

There have been a number of attacks against Indian students. On May 9, 21-year-old Sourabh Sharma was beaten up in a train by seven men. The student was beaten up for refusing to give his attackers a cigarette.

Meanwihile, the houses of four Indian students, who were brutally assaulted by a group of teenagers in Australia, have been burgled, even as one of them battles for life at a hospital, an organization of Indian students here has alleged.

The students, who were bashed up in an apparent racial attack, were away to the hospital when unknown intruders broke into their houses and stole everything available.

"They have no clothes or anything left in the house and the students are really feeling insecure and unsafe," said Gautam Gupta, President of the Federation of Indian student Association (FISA).

"They believe it was done by members of the same group who had assaulted them during the weekend," he said. There was, however, no official confirmation of the burglary so far.

The fresh attack comes despite the Indian government pressing Australia to tackle security issues of its students in the wake of growing assaults on them.

Meanwhile, the condition of the 25-year old Shravan Kumar, who is fighting for life in a hospital, remains critical and doctors are "not very optimistic" about chances of his recovery.

Representatives of FISA, along with those of Australia's apex student body National Union of Students (NUS) will meet Indian High Commission Sujatha Singh on the issue today and present a list of their demands.





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