Fresh attack on Indian, Sri Lankan in Australia

Fresh attack on Indian, Sri Lankan in Australia

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

Sahasranaman, a Sri Lankan national, revealed his over two-and-a-half hour ordeal of how he fought back with the thugs till police arrived and dispersed them, the Herald Sun reported today.

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 within centimetres of his back door. Interestingly, this time the police dropped home one of the injured offender who allegedly got hurt by Sahasranaman.

"They were throwing punches at me," Sahasranaman said, adding "they were calling names and told me to get lost from this 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.

There have been over 100 cases of attacks on Indians, mostly on students, in Australia since the last year. Meanwhile, Sahasranaman also alleged that police was slow to respond to his 'SOS'.

"I told them my life was in danger, but they kept asking silly questions. Finally, I told them we are going to die. What was I supposed to do? If the police say they can't do it, then I have to do it myself," he said.

Sahasranaman claimed police did not take his statement and made no arrests despite apprehending several youths. "They left a letter in my mailbox asking me to contact Crime Stoppers."

The report further mentioned that Police Spokeswoman Creina O'Grady confirmed that police did give lift to one of the offender but denied that police was slow to react. "Within 15 minutes of Ranjit's call, two police units were on the scene breaking up the disturbance," she said.

"Police spoke to several people and drove one youth home who had received injuries in an alleged assault. After dealing with this job and the people concerned, attending police then went and spoke to the complainant. Investigations are still under way in relation to the matter," she said.

Sahasranaman neighbours dubbed the attack a clear cut racist attack. "It's just heartbreaking," his neighbour Jodie Burford said. "I feel ashamed. Their home has been vandalised before but this was clearly a racial attack.

Upset Sahasranman blamed his council for not putting a fence around his house and said he has been facing such harassment from louts who hang out at a bus stop directly outside their Fernwren Place home."

Sahasranaman said he did not believe the recent attacks on Indians were racially motivated until the weekend's attack. "My son never believed it, my daughter never believed it, but now it has come to me and 100 per cent proved this is a racial attack," he said.

"My life is in danger and the police have not given any security for me," he alleged and said he would be forced to defend his family by whatever means possible should the gang return. "They said they'd come back and kill me, but I will be ready," he said. "There is no choice. Why should I move when I'm a citizen of Australia?"

Meanwhile, Victorian premier John Brumby said the matter was being investigated. Meanwhile, a task force of 127 specially-trained police personnel was announced yesterday which will be rolled out to trouble hot spots from this week in a high-visibility campaign that police claimed will help halt the carnage on the streets.

The Operational Response Unit (ORU) will initially target Melbourne's western and northern suburbs and the regional areas of Bendigo and Shepparton. It will be expanded to 220 police by mid year, with the capacity to be quickly deployed anywhere in the state based on intelligence.

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