PM's intervention sought to stop racial attacks against Indians

PM's intervention sought to stop racial attacks against Indians

The issue of alleged racial attack on an Indian man in Australia was today raised in the Lok Sabha by the Congress which sought the Prime Minister's intervention in ensuring the safety of large Indian population there.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the safety of overseas Indians was a matter of priority for the government and it will not leave any stone unturned in ensuring their safety.

Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, Congress MP K C Venugopal said Indian-origin taxi driver from Kerala, Li Max Joy, was assaulted in Australia's Tasmania state and added that such attacks were on the rise in that country.

Venugopal said it was a racial attack as the assaulters had hurled abuses like "you bloody black Indians" at him.

Joy, who is pursuing a nursing course and working as a part-time taxi driver in Australia, alleged that five people including a girl hurled racial abuses and assaulted him at a restaurant in North Hobart.

The incident came a week after an Indian-origin Catholic priest was stabbed in the neck at a church in Melbourne. "Li Max Joy was racially abused. It is a serious issue ... The government there is not making serious attempts to catch those involved in the assault," he alleged.

Replying to his contentions, Kumar said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj takes up cases involving Indians with authorities of foreign governments and that safety of overseas Indians was a matter of priority for the government.

"It is a matter of serious concern...we are with the overseas Indians. We will leave no stone unturned to ensure safety of Indians abroad," said Kumar.

Venugopal also raised the stabbing of the Indian-origin priest in Melbourne and demanded a strong response by India to such incidents. He said these were not stray incidents.

33-year-old Joy was admitted at the Royal Hobart Hospital with deep wounds. He was later discharged from hospital and he reported the incident to police.

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