Two Indian students were punched, pushed to the ground and kicked by a mob here on Monday, in the eighth such incident in Australia in a fortnight.

Two Indian students were punched, pushed to the ground and kicked by a mob here on Monday, in the eighth such incident in Australia in a fortnight. Nine persons were arrested and five of them booked for assault.

The two victims, aged 20 and 22, told the police they were attacked by members of a large group on Swanston Street in Melbourne Central on Monday night.

The attackers, described as being of Asian appearance, allegedly made some comments about the victims.

“There are some idiots out there who perpetrated terrible attacks on some Indian students,” Immigration Minister Chris Evans said.

The 20-year-old Indian suffered a wound on the left ear from what appeared to be an edged weapon, the police said. The other student suffered minor abrasions on the forearm.

While the one with injuries on an ear was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital, the other did not require hospital treatment, an AAP report said.

“Eight people were arrested this morning, with another man picked up later in the day. Of the nine arrested, five youths have been charged with affray, intentionally causing injury and summary assault offences,” a Victorian police statement said. The four others have been released, pending further investigation.

Mr. Evans said Indians were respected for their contributions in Australia and the government was doing all it could to stop the violence, ABC news said. “What I wanted to do today is reinforce to the Indian people who have become Australian citizens, or those who are here temporarily as students, that they’re welcome here in Australia.”

Krishna to meet Smith

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna is expected to take up the assaults with his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith, when the two meet on the sidelines of a conference in London later this week.

Informed sources said the meeting was sought by Mr. Smith to inform Mr. Krishna of the steps taken by the Australian government to ensure Indians’ safety and security.

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