Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Two Indian students assaulted in fresh Australia attack


The Australian prime minister's nephew was arrested for dressing in a Ku Klux Klan outfit to protest against racist attacks

Two Indian students have been assaulted in the Australian city of Melbourne - the latest in a series of attacks there targeting people from India.

A group of attackers allegedly made racist comments before kicking and punching the students on Monday.

One victim was taken to hospital and underwent surgery. Police have charged five men over the attacks, reports say.

Meanwhile, the prime minister's nephew has been fined for staging a controversial anti-racism protest.

Van Thanh Rudd - the son of PM Kevin Rudd's brother - and another man dressed in Ku Klux Klan costumes and carried anti-racism signs outside the Australian Open tennis championship on Tuesday.

They had each been fined Australian $234 ($210; £130) for offensive behaviour, Victoria state police said.

The attack on the students, aged 20 and 22, was the eighth such incident in Australia in a fortnight.

Cartoon showing hooded KKK-like figure with Victoria Police badge - image from Mail Today
The cartoon appeared in the 5 January edition of Delhi's Mail Today

Earlier this month, Australia condemned an Indian newspaper cartoon depicting an Australian police officer as a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

The cartoon, published in New Delhi's Mail Today, satirised Victoria police for saying there was no evidence the fatal stabbing of Indian student Nitin Garg, 21, in a Melbourne park on 2 January, had been racially motivated.

Van Thanh Rudd said Indians in Australia were two-and-a-half times more likely to be attacked than any other ethnic group and it was time for the government to condemn the attacks as racist.

He told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) the protest was also meant to call attention to the plight of asylum seekers turned away from Australian shores.

Van Thanh Rudd is an artist whose work is categorised by bold, political statements.

A spokeswoman for the prime minister told ABC his nephew's protest was "a matter for the people involved".

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