Australian jailed for attack on Indian student

Australian jailed for attack on Indian student

Carrying wooden planks ripped up from a nearby bus stop seat, the seven youths raided the Impex shop in Sunshine yelling "Are you Indian?" Then they randomly hit their victims Dec 1 last year, the County Court heard Friday.
There has been a string of assaults on Indian students in Australia, causing an uproar in India.

Indian student Sukhraj Singh, 28, was in a coma for 15 days and will suffer the effects of a severe acquired brain injury for the rest of his life after being beaten during the assault, The Age reported Friday.
Eight men were assaulted and most suffered minor injuries but Singh was beaten unconscious and spent months in hospital and rehabilitation.
Judge Pamela Jenkins said Friday the group had deliberately targeted victims of Indian ethnicity in the "unprovoked rampage". She sentenced one of the attackers, Zakarie Hussein, 21, to four-and-a-half years' jail with a minimum non-parole period of two years.

The youths had been drinking beer in a park for about four hours before they went to the store in City Place just after 6.30 p.m. where two of the teenagers began a racist argument with two customers, the court heard.

The Age reported that about five minutes later, the pair returned with their friends, most armed with wooden bars and one with a fluorescent light tube, and began smashing up the store and indiscriminately striking customers and staff as they yelled "Are you Indian?" and "Bloody Indians, f--- off".

Singh said in a statement submitted to the court that metal plates had been inserted into his face, he had shed up to 15 kg and been left with lumps and scars on his head from the assault.

"I am lucky to be alive, all my friends and family thought I was going to die," Singh said in the statement.

He said he suffered from dizzy spells and had undergone counselling after being plagued by nightmares and flashbacks.
The court heard his injuries had been potentially life-threatening and meant he had been unable to work for five months, may not be able to complete his studies and was too frightened to live alone.
The judge said the victims had tried to cower from their attackers and had done nothing to provoke the attack.

"Your victims presented no threat to you or your co-offenders whatsoever. They did not provoke you, they did not fight back and indeed they made every effort to escape from the assaults," she was quoted as saying.
"Notwithstanding these circumstances the victims were beaten apparently for the sheer thrill, Mr Singh being subjected to a particularly savage beating with the terrible consequences for him."

Judge Jenkins said the assault was among a number of racist attacks that had rightly provoked international and local community outrage and should be condemned.
"Short of becoming prisoners in their own homes, there is little potential victims can do to prevent such attacks," she said.

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