Melbourne: Notwithstanding assurances by the Australian government that it would not tolerate racial violence, another Indian student was beaten up by a group of youths here on Friday, the tenth to be assaulted within a space of a month.

Twenty-year-old Amrit Pal Singh from Haryana, who is pursuing a course in community welfare at the Caps Institute of Management here, was assaulted near a McDonald’s outlet when he was walking to the place where he worked on the part-time basis.

“One guy came to me and took my mobile. When I asked him to give my mobile back, he gave me a punch on my face. I also gave him a punch. Following this, his four friends came and started beating me,” Mr. Singh said. “I have told the police about the incident.”

He said one of them attacked him with a knife, but it hit his bag.

In a statement, the Consulate General of India in Melbourne said it would like to express its gratitude to, and appreciation of, the Indian community in Victoria, which reacted with concern and with a positive action “to ameliorate the tense situation in the last two weeks.”

Premier of the State of New South Wales, Nathan Rees, met members of the Indian community to assure them that they would not be subjected to any violence as witnessed in Victoria, mostly in its capital Melbourne.

The authorities in the State, which hosts 20,000 Indian students, claimed that they had no intelligence report to suggest that Indian students were being racially attacked because they were perceived as “soft targets.”

Australian media professionals of Indian origin expressed their disappointment at Indian media reports “sensationalising and racialising” the incidents. These professionals, in a statement, expressed full confidence in the Australian government in tackling the issue. — PTI

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