Melbourne: Australian Police Tuesday denied racial motive behind a string of violent attacks on Indian students recently in Sydney’s west, even as the community members organised an angry protest rally in Harris Park of the city last night.
Around 200 Indian students, some of them armed with baseball bats and hockey sticks, gathered at the main street of Harris Park to protest against the recent racial violence, according to Skynews TV channel.
The demonstration started last night after a 20-year- old Indian student was allegedly assaulted by a group of men of Middle Eastern appearance, police said.
According to police officer Robert Redfern, the Parramatta local area commander, the attacks were “opportunistic” and not racially motivated.
“Certainly it would appear to us that they are opportunistic and this is an area of Harris Park where there is a very large Indian community,” he said.
“They are young people, often students, often working... and they are therefore at risk opportunistically of being assaulted in the early hours of the morning or very late at night,” Redfern said.
Redfern said police worked closely with the Indian community and had reduced the area’s crime rate.
“There is a youth student safety subcommittee that’s working with the Indian Consulate, we’re working with that group and we’ll continue to do so,” he said.