Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Australian police deny Indian race attack cover-up

A police spokesman said authorities had not tried to hush up the attack, after reporters questioned why it had taken four days to release details of the Saturday evening incident.
The attack, which was widely reported in Indian media, comes as Canberra tries to pacify New Delhi's alarm over a wave of similar violence in recent months.
However, acting senior sergeant Glenn Parker said the police media department knew about the assault early Sunday but did not issue a statement until Wednesday, four days after the event.
‘There has been no deliberate attempt to suppress it,’ he told reporters, without offering an explanation for the delay.
Police are probing allegations the four were attacked outside a Melbourne bar late on Saturday as a mob looked on shouting racist abuse.
A relative of two of the victims said injuries included a broken jaw, broken shoulder and smashed teeth.
Police said the men were playing pool in the bar when a woman allegedly directed a racist remark at them. When they left the bar, four men attacked them in the venue's car park.
Police at the scene also said they heard a group of about 15 men and women, who had been with the attackers, making racist comments.
‘After police removed the victims from the scene, the larger group continued with their threatening behaviour and racist remarks,’ the statement issued Wednesday said.
Onkar Singh, whose two brothers-in-law were injured, said at least 70 people ambushed the men as they left the bar.
‘They were shouting at them, 'You Indians go back to your country' even the women, scratched their faces and everyone was beating them,’ he told public broadcaster ABC.
Police said they arrested and interviewed four men but later released them pending further investigations.
A series of attacks on Indian students triggered street protests in May and strained diplomatic ties. The latest attack prompted headlines such as ‘Racism in Australia’ and ‘Unsafe Down Under’ in the Indian media.
Victoria state Premier John Brumby will visit India next week to give safety assurances, after similar trips by Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is also due to visit.
The attacks have cast a shadow over an education industry worth $13.4 billion US.
Some 95,000 Indians are studying in Australia after a university publicity blitz targeting the country's growing middle class.

No comments:

Post a Comment