Though Australia stressfully claims that the recent attacks on Indian students in Sydney and Melbourne were not racist in nature, the figures given by Melbourne Police Chief Commissioner reveals that crimes against Indians have gone up alarmingly in the past two years.
In 2007-08, there have been 1,083 reported cases of robbery and assault against Indians, reveal figure released by Police Chief Commission Simon Overland. In 2008-2009, the figure has jumped to 1,447, almost one and a half times.
It should be noted that the rise in hate crimes has been proportionate to the increase in number of Indian students in Australia.
In 2007-08, there were only 20, 000 Indian students studying in Australia and this number has more than doubled in the current financial year.
In the meantime, another Indian student was reportedly attacked in Melbourne on Tuesday, taking the number of Indian victims to six in 22 days.
Australian universities have already warned that these attacks could scare off potential Indian students and the government has sent a team of police officers and professors to India on a six-day visit to create awareness among the student community there.
The issue has also taken a political turn in Australia with Opposition leaders missing no opportunity to lash out at Kevin Rudd.
“I think the message to the community is that such kind of offences won’t be tolerated. We have been holding meetings with groups over substantial period of time,” Victorian Attorney General, Rob Hulls said.