Indian students in Melbourne deeply concerned over attacks


Melbourne : Indian students in this Australian city are deeply concerned over the spate of attacks that has left one of them battling for life while another recuperates from a stab injury.

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The friends and acquaintances of Sravan Kumar Theerthala, who was attacked with a screwdriver over the weekend, expressed their concern outside The Royal Melbourne Hospital where he is admitted.

“We are not feeling safe basically in Australia, we are not feeling safe at all,” one of them told the Herald Sun.

Another Indian said: “They told us that it is a multicultural country you know, but after living here for three years, I will just say it is a multi-racism country you know.”

Standing outside the hospital, they held placards, one of which said, “Don’t we have the right to live?”

“How many more?” asked another placard.

Lakshmi Narasimha, Theerthala’s cousin, said that his condition was very bad. “The doctors are saying he might survive, he might not survive.”

Gautam Gupta of the Federation of Indian Students Association told Sky News: “The police always say there is no racism, but I don’t know what attack and how� what will it take for them to define any attack as racist.”

Three attacks on Indian students have taken place in quick succession, with the first incident being reported May 9 while the most recent took place Monday.

Theerthala, 25, was assaulted Sunday in Melbourne along with three other students.

Theerthala, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, went to Melbourne to study two years ago.

The attackers allegedly hurled racist abuses at Indian students and hit them with a screwdriver.

Another Indian student Baljinder Singh was robbed and stabbed in Melbourne Monday.

Singh had left a railway station when two men carrying weapons approached him and demanded money. As he searched through his bag to hand over his wallet he was stabbed in the abdomen, Herald Sun reported.

“They just laughed when they stabbed me in the stomach. They laughed at me…I was screaming ‘don’t kill me, don’t kill me’.

“Now there are lots of attacks. You can see that in the western suburbs,” he said.

Australian police Thursday arrested two teenagers over the beating of yet another Indian student on a Melbourne train.

Sourabh Sharma, 21, was beaten by a group of young men as he travelled on a train May 9, Herald Sun reported.

Sharma suffered a fractured cheek bone and a broken tooth in the attack, which was captured on closed circuit television cameras.

He said he was also racially abused and robbed during the attack.