The two victims, aged 20 and 22, told police they were approached and attacked by people from a large group on Swanston Street in Melbourne Central. The accused, described as being of Asian appearance, had allegedly made comments to the duo before one of the student was pushed to the ground and kicked at about 10.20 pm (local time) last night in central Melbourne, police 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 19-year-olds from Carlton, Abbotsford, Warrandyte and Northcote and a 20-year-old from Donvale have been bailed to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 5 April," it said, adding the remaining four males have been released pending further investigations.
The 20-year-old Indian man suffered a wound on his left ear from what appeared to be an edged weapon, police said, adding the 22-year-old student was also punched to the ground and suffered minor abrasions to the forearm. Police confirmed the two victims were Indian students but were unable to say whether the comments made were racial.
The 20-year-old was taken to St Vincents Hospital with lacerations to the left ear, while the other student did not required hospital treatment, an AAP report said. The attack comes just weeks after an Indian student Nitin Garg was stabbed to death in a park in Yarraville in Melbourne's inner-west. Nearly 100 cases of attacks on Indians were reported in Australia in 2009.