Victoria premier vows to prevent attacks on Indians

“Victorians abhor and condemn racism. That is because our state is built on migration and cultures from around the world. But there is a small and ignorant minority of people who are racist,” Brumby said.

Acknowledging that Indians have fallen victim to violent crimes here, he said: “No matter how small in number, any crime motivated by racism is outrageous and won’t be tolerated. “When an Indian family decides to send a son or daughter to another country, they place their trust in that country. I know Victorians would take that trust very seriously.”

Brumby is under pressure to tackle the crisis. Insisting that Victoria, and indeed Australia, was not a racist society, he said his government has repeatedly condemned any racist behaviour — violent or verbal.

However, he said the sad fact of any big urban city is that there is crime which can impact any member of the public. “I and the government acknowledge that. The police acknowledge that... I have always said that where it is a racially-based motivated attack we condemn that in the strongest possible terms,” he said.

In a damage-control exercise, the Brumby government has announced a slew of measures to curb the attacks, but there is a feeling that not enough has been done as the offenders have been leniently dealt with by the law.

Brumby claimed that Victoria has the toughest anti-knife regime in Australia. “Victoria Police investigates all matters reported to them equally, and the justice system deals with all people equally.”

Over 100 incidents of attacks on Indians, including racial, have come to light since May last year in Australia. 21-year-old student Nitin Garg, who was stabbed to death here, was the first victim of such assaults this year.

With Indians being seen as soft targets, Victorian police chief Simon Overland had recently come up with an advice asking them to “look poor” to avoid attacks.

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