More job opportunities, instead of race, was the reason for Indians being frequently robbed or assaulted during 2009 and 2010, according to a study by the Australian Institute of Criminology.

While admitting that Indians were targeted more than other foreign students, the government-commissioned study downplayed race as a motive though it admitted that there were occasions when ethnicity led them to be singled out for attention by the Australian underclass.

Indians were “known to have a greater proficiency in English” than other foreign students which enabled them to get jobs in a higher proportion in retail or service sector jobs. This meant working alone on late night shifts which led to an increased exposure to incidents of crime at the workplace or while travelling to and from work via public transport. This was combined with the perception that besides valuables and electronic goods, Indian students carried their earnings on them thus making them more lucrative targets. The study also covered students from China, Malaysia, South Korea and the U.S.

“Although the findings...indicated higher than average rates of robbery among Indian international students compared with the general population, and higher rates of assault of Indian students as compared with students from other countries, they should not yet be interpreted as evidence of racism.” It was “undeniable” that some of the widely publicised attacks on Indian students had a racial motive but there were many other reasons why they were targeted, said the report.

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