Melbourne, Jan. 20 (ANI): Former Australian Army Chief Peter Cosgrove has termed the spate of racial attacks on Indian students as "litany of criminality," in which Australians were "preying on these visitors."
"I sense in relation to the spate of attacks on largely Indian people, in Melbourne and elsewhere, Australians are very concerned and disinclined to downplay, much less dismiss, the potential 'racist' elements in what is becoming a litany of criminality," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted General Cosgrove, as saying.
In an Australia Day address, General Cosgrove said attacks on Indian students in Australia had become "a major problem", and the nature of the attacks made it easy to conclude they were racially motivated.
"The problem for us is that the criminal incidents are cowardly and sly and it is easy to conclude that they are racially targeted. We are all dismayed that there might be some kind of warped campaign in progress," he said.
General Cosgrove said he had lived in India for a year in 1994 and "I love the place".
He added that the number of incidents against Indians seemed "'too many to be coincidences".
"Attacks recently by groups of people on individuals looks like a profiling approach to people from the sub-continent. Rather than say 'nothing to worry about', I'd rather look more closely.
If you didn't suspect a racial strand you'd be mad," he said.
His comments on violence against Indian students are in contrast to those of police in Victoria, who have consistently downplayed suggestions that they have been racially targeted.
He said Australia could not look at higher rates of violence in India as an excuse for violence here. The only way to repair Australia's reputation was to apprehend and rigorously prosecute the people responsible. (ANI)