Brumby, Overland slammed for reluctance to admit attacks on Indians as 'racist'

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Melbourne, Feb 14(ANI): Victorian Premier John Brumby and state police chief commissioner Simon Overland have been criticised for their reluctance to admit that the state might be home to a sub-culture of violent racism.

Federation of Indian Students of Australia chairman Guatam Gupta said the Government in Victoria has failed to tackle the issue of attacks on Indian students and racism.

"The whole state is now talking about this issue, except Brumby. Most Victorians acknowledge there is a problem with racism in Victoria which needs to be fixed, but they (the Brumby government) have failed to manage this issue properly," The Australian quoted Gupta, as saying.

Addressing the Australia India Business Council, Victorian Opposition leader Ted Baillieu has also highlighted that the issue will be a dominant part of the domestic political debate in the lead-up to November's state election.

Baillieu said that racism was a real and present problem in Victoria, but Brumby was refusing to confront it and as a result the problem was getting worse. He also said that it was a failure of leadership.

"Leadership starts with the recognition that we have a real problem. Leadership is not the hapless and eternal provision of excuses, nor endless public relations appearances to create the illusion of activity in the absence of real action," Baillieu said.

"Violence in our community is now affecting all of us - and it has also spread to groups in the community such as international and in particular Indian students who are the target of both random, violent attacks and racial attacks," he added.

Meanwhile, Simon Marginson, professor of higher education at the Melbourne University and the co-author of a study into the security of international students, said: "The trouble with this debate is there is no authoritative data in the public domain about the incidence of these crimes and who are being targeted."

"We only have a murky picture about this, and I'm not even sure the police have got accurate figures. But what is clear from court testimony of those who have been bashed is that it has often been accompanied by racial abuse," he added. (ANI)

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