In the wake of the latest attack on an Indian man who was set afire by four assailants here, Victorian government has expressed hope that such incidents would not damage people’s opinion about Australia being a “safe” place to study, work and live. The government went on to ask the police to carry out a thorough probe.

“We don’t support any sorts of violence at all irrespective of who it is against, whether it is against people who are born and live here or whether it is for all of the fantastic migrants or refugees or students who come to our country,” Victorian Minister Peter Batchelor was quoted by ABC as saying.

“Whether it is racially motivated or whether it is for some other reason such as theft or some other crime related factor, it diminishes our community, it diminishes us all and we’re totally opposed to it,” he said, adding “we want the police to thoroughly investigate this to get to the bottom of it.”

The minister said he hoped that yesterday’s attack on 29-year old Jaspreet Singh here would not dissuade people from considering Australia as a safe place to study, work and live.

Meanwhile, police said there were strange circumstances surrounding the attack on Singh - who was set on fire by a group of four men in suburb of Essendon in northwest Melbourne - which have led them to believe that it was not racially motivated.

Detective acting senior sergeant Neil Smyth said police are yet to locate the burnt clothes which the victim discarded shortly after the incident.

He said police have a general description of who the offenders could be.

“I believe there is no reason at this stage to consider this in any way as racially motivated. The circumstances of him parking the car randomly in a side street and just some people approaching him are a bit strange,” he said.

“It’s highly unlikely therefore to be a targeted attack on any individual.”