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Aus attacks: Victoria premier blasts Indian media, again

Last updated on: February 04, 2010 11:57 IST

Strongly criticising the Indian media for blowing up the racism issue, Victorian premier John Brumby on Thursday asked people to wait for facts about the assaults before crying 'racism.'

Brumby condemned the Indian media and certain sections of the Australian media for stirring up the racism issue that does not exist, an AAP report said.

"We condemn in the strongest terms any racist attacks," he said.

"But I am not going to stand by and see Victoria's standing internationally diminished by what are inaccurate and unbalanced reporting and comment in India", he said.

Brumby said people should wait for the facts about assaults before crying racism.

Brumby further claimed that the story in the daily 'The Age' that said that Indian High commissioner Sujatha Singh complained over the attacks issue to Governor General Quentin Bryce in Sydney was 'unattributed' and 'entirely unsubstantiated.'

"Our Indian population is under represented in terms of assaults," he said and added, "We have a very large Indian and Sri Lankan population, they are nearly 7 per cent of our population and on average if you have 14 crimes that occur every week, one will affect that community."

But that doesn't mean that they are being targeted or it's racially motivated, he said.

Brumby hailed Victoria police for doing a good job in tackling this issue.

He said most of the crimes that are occurring against Indian students are happening in 'high-risk areas late at night.'

The report said that Brumby comments followed after Governor-General Bryce was dragged into the Indian attacks racism debate by 'The Age' daily.

Slew of attacks on Indians living in Melbourne have strained relations between Australian and Indian governments and also fuelled up racism debate from the Indian media.

Image: Victoria primier John Brumby

Photograph: Reuters

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