Canberra, Jan 20: Contradicting the Canberra officials' stance in the attack on Indian students, Australia's former military chief has said that the attacks are racially motivated.
"If you didn't suspect a racial strand you'd be mad," high-profile former general Peter Cosgrove said in a newspaper report.
Cosgrove said that instead of labeling the attacks as purely criminal, it would be better to look at it from the racial point of view.
"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," he added.
Refuting the police and the government declaration of the crime as purely criminal, Cosgrove said that the racial element was too strong to dismiss.
With reference to the previous racial violence in Australia which took place in 2005 between gangs of ethnic Lebanese and anglo youths, he said that the episode highlighted the strong existence of racism.
"It was so unusual and unexpected, it reverberated around the world. It was unexpected because Australia's reputation was that of an egalitarian and multi-ethnic society; tolerant, cheerful and relaxed. December 2005 gave us pause for thought," he said.
Speaking strongly against racism, Cosgrove said that hidden racism should be abhorred and should neither be allowed to fester nor affect the immigration.
"The vast majority of Australians, totally rejecting any such despicable behavior, will welcome the apprehension of the perpetrators," he said.