Victoria premier blasts Indian Govt, media for overreaction on racist attacks

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Melbourne, Feb 3 (ANI): Victoria Premier John Brumby today attacked Indian media and officials for unbalanced reporting, citing the case of Jaspreet Singh who police say pretended he had been set on fire in an unprovoked attack.

Singh, 29, of Grice Crescent, Essendon, claimed unknown assailants set him alight near his home last month. But police alleged he accidentally burned himself while torching his car for an insurance claim.

Singh faced an out-of-sessions hearing before a bail justice at St Kilda Road police complex yesterday, charged with making a false report to police and criminal damage with a view to gaining a financial advantage.

The case made international headlines, linked to a series of attacks by white Australians on Indian nationals in Melbourne.

Brumby said that the Indian media's reports of such incidents had been unbalanced, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

"I think I'll make a couple of comments and in a sense they go, as much as anything, to the way the Indian media and the, to a lesser extent some representatives in the Indian government, portray these events," he said.

Brumby referred to the death of Indian Ranjodh Singh, whose body was found on the side of a road in southern NSW in late December.

"I think the point needs to be made that the people who have been charged with that murder are both Indians. And we've had this (Jaspreet Singh) case, which attracted a lot of attention in India, and police have charged an individual with setting fire to himself," he said.

"So I hope that there is some balance to the debate, some balance to the reporting in India and certainly to date that balance hasn't been there," Brumby added. (ANI)

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