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MELBOURNE.  A young Indian student, Bharat Thapar, 24, has suffered “serious” facial injuries after being brutally attacked by a group of  people in Melbourne – the latest in a series of attacks on Indians in Australia.

Thapar was attacked by a group of six men Monday night after he tried to save another Indian from being thrashed in a Melbourne suburb, his friend Sumeet said.

The incident took place near Carinish Road, in Oakleigh South, said Sumeet.

On Monday night, Thapar was trying to save another Indian, a taxi driver named Ratan,  from being beaten up by six people on the streets of Melbourne. When he tried to intervene, the attackers turned on him.  The policemen who arrived at the scene summoned an ambulance, but let the six assaulters leave the location.

“Bharat  stopped his car. He tried to stop the fight and save Ratan. But the attackers instead started beating him up. He has received serious injuries on the face,” Sumit said.

He said Thapar may have suffered multiple fractures in the jaw. Doctors have advised a surgery “as soon as possible”. Doctors who are operating on him on Tuesday afternoon say he may not be able to speak or even open his mouth for the next few weeks.

Sumit said police arrived on the scene and arranged for an ambulance for Thapar but they “didn’t record a statement from any of the eye witnesses and allowed the attackers to leave”.

The Australian Police also refused to file a complaint submitted by Bharat’s friends. Bharat Thapar is in the Hospital and is unable to speak.

Thapar had just finished his studies at a Melbourne college.  He had moved to Australia three years ago from Panipat in Haryana.

The Indian who Bharat tried to save, will be a witness in the case.  He and another eyewitness claim that the police is trying to misrepresent the facts to state that it was Bharat who started the fight.

This attack is the latest in the series of attacks against Indians, in Australia particularly in Melbourne. More than 100 such attacks have been reported since the last two years and have recently increased after a brief lull.

“The government condemns the attack on the Indian student. The issue will be taken up with the Australian authorities,” an official said.

The Government of India has lodged a complaint with the Australian authorities who will investigate the matter and inform the Indian authorities of the outcome.

The attacks on Indians have been going on unabated for the last two years and the Australian Police maintain that these are not racial crimes but are petty crimes. Then why are the Indian students being targeted so regularly?

Ravi Matah.