Aussie students blame weak security apparatus for attacks on Indians

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New Delhi, Feb.4 (ANI): The attacks on Indians in Australia are not necessarily racist but surely taking place because of inadequate policing which needs to be fixed, said a visiting 10-member student delegation from Australia which arrived here under the banner of Australia-India Business Council on Thursday.

The Australian delegation also includes members of Indian origin.

There is a consensus among the members of the delegation that Indians are more vulnerable to the attacks than students from other countries like China because they travel at night by public transport which is very unsafe and also because they venture into the no-go areas which have shoddy track record vis-'-vis security.

Former president of National Union of Students David Borrow said lack of police presence on the trains as the reason of why Indians are attacked.

Indian are more vulnerable because they take up night jobs and they travel in night that is why they are attacked, said David Borrow and further added that Indian students are taking trains late at night because of the type of jobs they have to do in Australia

Harpinder Singh Chipra, an Indian student perusing MBA in Australia, said that security measures like CCTV on public transport are in place but they are ineffective. He also questioned the efficiency of the police in stopping the attacks.

"We have seen attacks happening on CCTV in Victoria, if someone is watching the attack why no prompt action is taken to stop the attack, asked Chipra, who moved to Australia two years ago.

Indians approximately has 100,000 students studying in Australia, the largest group only next to Chinese students there.

Most of the members of the visiting delegation have slammed the Australian government for not establishing proper infrastructure in tune with the rising number of incoming foreign students.

Delegation members, however, disagreed that Indians are singled out and they are the only community facing attacks.

But the members agreed that racism is a small factor, which is triggering such attacks.

Ruchir Punjabi, the managing director of digital media company, said that attacks on Indians get wide media coverage because Indians are reporting the abuse whereas people from other Asian countries like China are hesitant in reporting attacks to police. "I have heard that a Chinese lady was raped but the media did not cover it," said Ruchir Punjabi.

Indian origin Australian Karishma, who is living in Australia for last 18 years, said: "People of other Asian countries like China, Philippines, Koreans might not report violent or non-violent incidents to the police like Indians, due to increased media coverage Indians feel more comfortable reporting to police."

Social adaptability and Integration into the Austarlian society are also cited as main factors behind the attacks.

Harpinder, another member of the delegation said that Indians have to acknowledge that it is a different culture.

Indians have to be cautious and endorse their business culture; simple things like standing in a queue or driving, he said.

According to Victoria-based Julian Campbell, foreign students are discriminated by the government.

Foreign students in Victoria have to pay double fare to travel in public transport in comparison to their domestic counterpart, said Campbell and added: "Foreign students are treated as second class citizens and they feel that this is the form of racism which is endorsed by the government. This also upsets foreign students and widens the wedge, which results in clashes."

While some members of the delegation opined that the measures undertaken by the Australian authorities are not enough to stop further attacks while others believe that Australian authorities have taken some positive steps like putting a curb on small institutions offering private professional courses and monitoring of the bank accounts of the incoming foreign Students.

Members said that some of the states like Sydney and Adelaide might have fixed their security apparatus but Victoria needs a complete overhaul because this is the place where maximum attacks on Indians have taken place. By Naveen Kapoor(ANI)

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