Melbourne: After a brief lull in attacks on Indians in Australia, three members of the community were “brutally bashed” by a group of around 70 youths, including women, who were attending a birthday party in a bar here after making racist remarks against the trio.
26-year-old Sukhdip Singh, who arrived here a month ago on a spouse visa, his brother Gurdeep Singh and uncle Mukhtair Singh were attacked by the group when they were playing pool in a bar in Epping suburb on Saturday.
“At around 11’o clock my brother-in-law Sukhdip was playing pool along with his family members when they were attacked by around 70 locals who were attending a party,” the victim’s relative Onkar Singh told PTI.
“They were quietly playing and were trying to avoid trouble even after these locals were trying to provoke them by passing comments,” he said.
The group started telling them to go back to their country. “When they reached the car park to leave the place a huge crowd attacked them and started bashing them brutally. The attackers were in their teens and around twenties,” he said.
When contacted, a Victoria Police spokesperson told PTI that before the incident took place, a woman made a racist remark to a group of four males playing pool at Legends Bar.
“A short time later, the pool-playing group decided to leave the venue. It is believed they were followed into the car park by up to four males who were part of a larger group celebrating a birthday in the function room,” the spokesperson said.
It has been alleged the Indians were set upon and seriously assaulted by a group of Australians. Police attended and arrested four males who were taken to Epping police station and interviewed in relation to assault and affray.
All the four have been released pending further investigations.
While police were on scene, they observed about 15 males and females, also from the larger group celebrating the birthday, made racist comments and one female from the group threw water on a bystander.
After police removed the victims from the scene, the larger group continued with their threatening behaviour and racist remarks.
However, Onkar claimed police have informed him that six of the 70 attackers have been arrested.
The attacks come a month after Australian government assured external affairs minister SM Krishna, during his visit here, that Indian students will be protected. Around 30 Indian students were attacked in various cities from June to August.