MELBOURNE: Police in Australia's Tasmania state today said they have launched a probe into the assault on an Indian-origin man to assess whether it was a racially- motivated incident.
Li Max Joy, who is pursuing a nursing course and working as a part time taxi driver in Australia, alleged that five people including a girl hurled racial abuses like "you bloody black Indians" at him and assaulted him up at the McDonald’s restaurant at North Hobart in the state.
In a statement, the police said they have spoken to a number of witnesses and were following a particular line of inquiry in relation to the offender.
"The complainant will be kept informed of the status of the investigation as it progresses," police said. "Tasmania Police take all assaults seriously, and whether the assault was racially based will be a component of the investigative facts," it noted.
The 33-year-old victim said that the teenagers had been arguing with the McDonald's staff when he reached the fast food centre, but turned their anger on him when they noticed him.
Joy was admitted to Royal Hobart Hospital with deep wounds. He was later discharged from hospital and he reported the incident to police.