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Is Island state of Tasmania now brimming with racism against Indians?

 

After a Keralite Indian Australia was subject of attacks, another Indian taxi driver assaulted, abused

Melbourne, June 26: Only few weeks ago an Indian man of Keralite descent was subject of racist attack and then last month a 25-year-old Indian taxi driver in Australia was assaulted by two passengers, including a woman, who yelled racial slurs at him, media reports said.

Pardeep Singh, who is studying hospitality in the country, was beaten at the Sandy Bay McDonald’s drive-through in Australia’s island state of Tasmania on Saturday night.

The Indian cab driver in Australia was admitted to the hospital after being beaten up by a couple. The couple hurled racial profanities, calling a ‘bloody, f******* Indian’ who ‘deserved’ the beating.

Singh said he was attacked when he asked his passenger to step outside the cab because she was going to vomit, The Mercury reported.

“If you mess up the car you have to pay a cleaning fee,” Singh told the passengers.

Singh alleged the woman passenger told him in an expletive-filled rant that she wouldn’t pay the fare or cleaning fee.

“They punched me too many times and kicked me,” Singh said.

“[They said] ‘You f…..g Indians deserve this’.”

Singh was admitted to the Royal Hobart Hospital.

Inspector Ian Whish-Wilson said a man and a woman have been charged in relation to the assault on Singh.

They will appear in the Hobart Magistrates Court on June 26.

“It is alleged that the driver asked the passengers to leave his taxi after one of them was sick,” Wilson said.

“There was a dispute over payment and it is alleged the passengers assaulted the driver and damaged the vehicle. It was alleged a racial comment was made during the assault but it does not appear that the incident was racially motivated,” he added.

Earlier, in March this year, Li Max Joy, an Indian nursing student and a part-time taxi driver, was assaulted and racially abused by five teenagers including a girl, at a McDonald’s store in North Hobart .

Joy alleged that the group hurled racial abuses like “You bloody black Indians”. He was then later attacked in the car park.

Joy was admitted to the Royal Hobart Hospital and treated for bleeding wounds, following which a CAT scan and an X-Ray were carried out to check for internal injuries.

Later, Joy further alleged that the police made no serious efforts to take action against the attackers.

However, police issued a statement saying that they had spoken to several witnesses and are investigating the entire episode.

“The complainant will be kept informed of the status of the investigation as it progresses.

“Tasmania police take all assaults seriously, and whether the assault was racially-based will be a component of the investigative facts,” the statement said.

Joy is from Puthuppally in Kottayam district of Kerala and has been living in Hobart for the last eight years. He is pursuing a nursing course and works as part-time taxi driver in Tasmania.

India’s External Affairs Ministry also got involved over the attack.

“We will leave no stone unturned to ensure safety of Indians abroad,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar then assured in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi.

Mr 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.

The incident came a week after an Indian-origin Catholic priest was stabbed in the neck at a church in Melbourne.

“The racial mood is definitely changing. It is continuous now. Many other drivers have been abused but not everyone reports it to police,” Joy told about Tasmania to the local media.

Vir Rajendra

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