Melbourne, June 2 (ANI): Indian students have lost confidence in Victorian Police force that racially profiles them.
Federation of Indian Students of Australia (FISA) adviser Gautam Gupta said a series of comments from Victoria Police had prompted Sunday night's protest that was marked by violence and 18 arrests.
FISA had pulled out of the Police-Indian Western Reference Group set up in January to combat attacks on Indians in Melbourne's western suburbs, he said.
He said the reference group had made the situation worse as did comments by Chief Commissioner Simon Overland and Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe last week that Indian students were "passive, vulnerable and soft targets".
Overland denied the comments were racist and said they applied to people of all races, but Gupta said Indian students felt they made them more vulnerable.
Another Indian community leader Nitin Gupta - no relation - said Tuesday's move to factor hate-based crime into sentencing laws was welcomed. (ANI)