‘Australian police tried to hush up attack on Indian’


Brisbane: Police tried to hush up a knife attack on an Indian last month at one of the busiest train stations in Australia to prevent sparking off another racial abuse debate, a media report said Saturday.

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Thirty-four-year-old Narendrakumar Patel’s throat was slashed in an attack on Platform 9 at Brisbane’s Roma Street Station about 4.20 p.m. on March 17, the Courier Mail reported.

Though a 26-year-old man later handed himself in at the police headquarters near the station, the news of the knife attack was kept under wraps by authorities.

The attack on Patel was seen by police monitoring the station on closed-circuit television screens, the report said. But details of the incident were never released despite the high-profile location.

A decision was taken by authorities not to release details of the assault, which was certain to fuel fears about train station safety or spark debate about whether Indians are the target of racially motivated attacks in the country.

Police have refused to comment on the issue.

But Deputy Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said the attack struck “at the heart of confidence of all rail commuters” and the public had a right to know about it.

“I hope that this has not been covered up or hosed down by our authorities because of the nationality of the victim,” he said.

Meanwhile, Police Minister Neil Roberts said he had been briefed on recent incidents involving people from various ethnic backgrounds.

“Some are obviously racially motivated, however police advise me that in their opinion the majority of incidents involving persons from different ethnic backgrounds are not suspected of being racially motivated,” he said.

Patel’s attacker was charged with assault occasioning bodily harm and carrying a knife in a public place. However, despite police prosecutors opposing bail, the man was released and is due to face court again on April 15.