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INDIAN COUPLE BEATEN IN MELBOURNE

In a fresh incident of racial violence  against Asians in Australia, a Sri Lankan man and his wife were attacked and racially abused by a group of drunken men at their home in Melbourne. A group of 25 drunken thugs bashed up 60-year-old Ranjit Sahasranaman, who is married to Indian-origin Agalya Sahasranamn, outside his own home in Carrams Down suburb on Sunday morning.   
 
Australia’s Opposition leader Tony Abbot had said at Melbourne a week ago that the streets of Melbourne were not safe for Indians. He had re-terated  that the Australian government should spend more on policing with an attempt to prevent racial attacks on Indians and thereby improve relations with India.

His  remarks came in the wake of government’s expensive arrangements in spending to arrange accommodation for a team of Indian journalists touring Australia.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is spending $250,000 on flights and five-star accommodation for the journalists in a bid to clear up a diplomatic row over a series of attacks on Indians, the media reported.

During their visit, the team of 25 reporters will tour the Melbourne Cricket Ground and see the concerts of Bollywood composer AR Rahman scheduled to be held in Sydney and Melbourne.

Abbott said the money could be better spent preventing the bashing which was the basic ” problem” between India and Australia. He added that -“Our streets aren’t safe, particularly the streets of Melbourne, which appear to have been pretty seriously under-policed.

Spokesman of the Federation of Indian Students in Australia Gautum Gupta had said that the visits were “just marketing junkets paid for by the taxpayer”, tightly scheduled and designed to gloss over problems. And this time round Gautam Gupta appears to be right.

And despite the above warning given by Abbot, a fresh incident of racial violence  against Asians in Australia has been reported. A  Sri Lankan man and his wife were attacked and racially abused by a group of drunken men at their home here.

A group of 25 drunken thugs bashed up 60-year-old Ranjit Sahasranaman, who is married to Indian-origin Agalya Sahasranamn, outside his own home in Carrams Down suburb on Sunday morning.

The Herald Sun reported on Tuesday, Sahasranaman’s revealations about his two-and-a-half hour ordeal of how he fought back with the thugs till police arrived and dispersed them. Sahasranaman, who has lived in Australia for 19 years with his wife and two kids, said he was assaulted and racially abused by the gang of mostly white men who damaged his back fence and gained entry to his yard.

He said he was forced to fight back with a bar when the intruders got close to his back door. Rather than taking action on the perpetrators of the crime, the Australian  police dropped home one of the injured offender who allegedly got hurt by Sahasranaman. He added that the attackers were throwing punches at him and were asking him to leave their country.

The attack came at a time when Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith is in India to discuss with authorities there the security preparation for the Commonwealth Games and the issue of attacks on Indians here. He is to meet the External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna and in a televised statement today, Smith said that he would apprise Krishna of the precautions Australia has taken to prevent racial attacks on Indians in Australia. We wonder what he has left to say now?

Ravi Matah