A “very manly” Australian woman threatened two young Indian women and slapped one across the face here in a “racial attack,” prompting the Victoria police to launch a probe.

The mystery woman — believed to be in her 30s — racially abused the Indian passengers “throughout the journey into the city,” the police said in a statement on Thursday.

The incident took place on December 12 when the Indian women — both in their 20s — were walking down the aisle of a bus looking for a seat. One of the women accidently bumped the Australian passenger, who was seated, with her handbag. The Indian woman turned to apologise but was racially abused by the Australian, the statement said.

“The racial abuse continued throughout the journey into the city, where the two women got off the bus at the corner of Queen and Collins streets. The abusive woman followed the two victims off the bus…” it said. She slapped one woman across the face and knocked a phone from the hand of the other victim, who was trying to call the police. As the phone smashed on the ground, she warned the two women not to call the police, before fleeing in a taxi.

Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward.

“…about 160 centimetres tall, short spiky blonde hair, very solid build and looked very manly,” the police statement said of the offender.

The ugly behaviour comes just weeks after another horrible case of racial abuse on Melbourne’s public transport system made headlines. In that incident, passengers on a rail replacement bus on the Frankston line from Mordialloc to Caulfield yelled abuses and threats at some French girls who were singing.

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