Home India News Another Indian stabbing reported; Australian PM admits violent crime up

Another Indian stabbing reported; Australian PM admits violent crime up


Melbourne : Prime Minister Kevin Rudd Thursday said that attacks against Indians should be seen in the context of the rise in violent crime in Australian cities as a top police official warned that hysteria on the issue could “spawn more violence” by people of “racist intentions”. The comments came as the stabbing of another Indian taxi driver here came to light.

Ravinder Singh, 30, was stabbed by a man masked in a balaclava outside his fiancee’s flat in Brunswick here last month. The incident in the early hours of Dec 9 took place after he had handed over his night’s taking in the armed hold-up but has been reported in the media only now.

Police initially believed that Ravinder Singh, who was viciously stabbed in a lung, was the victim of a road-rage incident.

As the brutal stabbing made news more than a month later, Rudd told reporters in Adelaide: “Regrettably, there have been some incidents recently, let’s accept that, but let’s put it into context, and also in the context of, let’s call it, the broader incidences of violence to students of other ethnic backgrounds, acts of violence against Australian students, acts of violence in particular parts of our large cities at any given time of the day.

“I think it’s important to keep all this into its context.”

“Obviously these are difficult matters in India, they are difficult matters in Australia,” AAP quoted Rudd as saying.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Simon Overland sounded an ominous note. He said the level of violence directed at Indians was unacceptable but added: “I fear that the hysterical commentary will only spawn more violence as attitudes polarise and harden, leading to more hardcore racist intentions and violence.”

“We need to be very careful as this is a path to be avoided at all costs,” the Herald Sun quoted Overland as saying in Geelong City.

Overland said there was no doubt that some of the recent robberies and other acts of violence directed at Indian students were racist.

“Of course we have racism in this country – we are like any country. But it is a mistake to oversimplify these crimes and point to a racial motivation in all or a majority of them.”

New Delhi warned Wednesday that people-to-people ties with Australia may be “adversely affected” if the violence against Indians in Australia did not halt.

Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said that he was “deeply anguished” over the assault on an Indian taxi driver in Melbourne’s northern parts Saturday.

“Unless there is immediate stop to the attacks, our people-to-people level exchanges, which include the area of education and tourism, will get adversely affected,” the minister had said.

There has been a string of attacks on Indians in Australia with Indian taxi drivers being targeted in some of the recent incidents.

Three Indian taxi drivers were attacked in different Australian cities Jan 16. While a 25-year-old Indian taxi driver was assaulted in Melbourne, two Indian taxi drivers, one of whom was a student, were attacked in Australia’s Ballarat city.

The spate of attacks on Indians in Australia has caused an outcry in India. Two of the vicious attacks proved fatal.