Attack on India in Australia raised in Lok Sabha, High commission says the matter will be investigated

The Australian High Commission, meanwhile, said that it regrets the incident and it will be investigated whether the attack on an Indian-origin taxi driver in Australia was “racially-based”.

Published: 27th March 2017 07:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th March 2017 07:45 PM   |  A+A-

Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Monday. (PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Raising the issue of alleged racial attack on an Indian man in Australia in Lok Sabha on Monday, Congress sought the PM’s intervention in ensuring the safety of large Indian population there.

Meanwhile, the Australian High Commission has said that it regrets the incident and it will be investigated whether the attack on an Indian-origin taxi driver in Australia was “racially-based”.

Congress member K C Venugopal said in the Lower House that Indian-origin taxi driver from Kerala, Li Max Joy, was assaulted in Australia's Tasmania state and added that such attacks were on the rise in that country.  He said it was a racial attack as the assaulters had hurled abuses like “you bloody black Indians” at him. “Li Max Joy was racially abused. It is a serious issue ... The government there is not making serious attempts to catch those involved in the assault,” he alleged.

Responding to this, Parliamentary Affairs minister Ananth Kumar said the safety of overseas Indians was a matter of priority for the government and it will not leave any stone unturned in ensuring their safety. “It is a matter of serious concern...we are with the overseas Indians. We will leave no stone unturned to ensure safety of Indians abroad, said the minister.

Venugopal also raised the stabbing of the Indian-origin priest in Melbourne and demanded a strong response by India to such incidents. He said these were not stray incidents.

Replying to his contentions, Kumar said External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj takes up cases involving Indians with authorities of foreign governments and that safety of overseas Indians was a matter of priority for the government.

Meanwhile, expressing regret over the incident, an Australian High Commission spokesperson said the government attaches great importance to the safety and security of everyone who resides in Australia. It said that whether the attack on an Indian-origin taxi driver in Australia was "racially-based" will be investigated and asserted that police takes all assault seriously.

"We regret the attack on taxi driver of Indian origin in Hobart which occurred over the weekend. We understand he suffered minor injuries and has been discharged from Royal Hobart Hospital,” he said.

The statement said, "The matter is current and under investigation by Tasmania Police. Tasmania Police takes all assaults seriously. We understand that whether the assault was racially-based will be a component of the investigation facts."

Li Max Joy, who is pursuing a nursing course and working as a part time taxi driver in Australia, has alleged that five people, including a girl, hurled racial abuses like “you bloody black Indians” at him and assaulted him at the McDonald's restaurant at North Hobart.

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