29 May 2009

India demands protection for nationals after attacks

8:32 am on 29 May 2009

The Indian government has demanded better protection for its students in Australia after a series of violent attacks in Melbourne.

In the latest assault, a student was stabbed as he walked alone on Monday night in a city suburb.

Four other Indian students were attacked with a screwdriver by gatecrashers at a party on Saturday night. One is still in intensive care.

Earlier this month, a student was bashed and robbed on a Melbourne train. Two students working as taxi drivers were assaulted last year.

The attacks have had widespread media coverage in India, including accusations that Australia is a racist country.

Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna said he was "appalled". On Mr Krishna's orders, India's High Commissioner in Australia, Sujatha Singh, will fly to Melbourne to take charge of the matter.

The Federation of Indian Students of Australia said the Indian government should declare Australia an unsafe destination for Indian students if the attacks continue.

Police said they have arrested two youths, aged 16 and 18, over the train attack.