Melbourne: After a long lull in the racial attacks in Victoria, a 21-year-old man was reportedly bashed and bruised after being asked if he was an Indian.
According to a local newspaper Dandenong Leader, police said the man was walking to Sandown Park rail station about 6.40 am when four teenage males on bikes approached him, three with baseball bats.
One asked him "Buddy, are you Indian?" police official Jo Hayden said the man was hit from behind, fell and was kicked while lying on the ground.
Two passers-by took the man home, she said. He was bruised and had a large cut on his nose. He told police his attackers looked about 15-16 years old.
Federation of Indian Association of Victoria (FIAV) president Vasan Srinivasan said he was surprised about the attack which took place in eastern suburb which is considered to be multicultural.
"My only request to youngsters is, let`s learn to respect each other, live with harmony and peace. What else we can say?", Srinivasan was quoted as saying by the paper.
The newspaper quoted Hayden as saying that another Indian was attacked last Tuesday night, but refused to comment if it was racially motivated.
The 39-year-old was walking home about 6 pm along Moncur Ave in Springvale.
Police said he was punched to the ground from behind and kicked while on the ground.
Police said there were witnesses, but no clear description of the attacker.
Since 2006, the Indian population of Greater Dandenong has risen by 1200, with 3 per cent of Greater Dandenong residents from India.