Page last updated at 14:22 GMT, Wednesday, 16 September 2009 15:22 UK

India fear over Australia attacks

Rally against attacks on South Asians in Melbourne - 31/5/2009
There have been large rallies against the attacks in Australian cities

The Indian government has expressed concern over the recurring attacks on Indians in Australia.

In the latest incident, four Indians were assaulted by a group of people in Melbourne on Saturday.

The Indian high commissioner in Canberra has taken up the matter with the Australian government, an Indian foreign ministry press release said.

More than a dozen Indian students have been attacked in Melbourne and Sydney in the past few months.

The attacks in recent months have caused outrage in India. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had promised the safety of Indian students would be ensured.

'Racist remarks'

"Two Indian nationals and two other persons of Indian origin were assaulted by a group of individuals at Melbourne late in the evening on 12 September," the Indian ministry of external affairs said in a press release on Wednesday.

"One of the Indian nationals, Mr Sukhdip Singh, sustained serious injuries and is undergoing treatment. We are informed that the police arrested four individuals who have since been released pending further investigations."

According to reports in the Indian media, the men claimed they were subjected to racist remarks while playing pool in a bar.

They said they were attacked and seriously assaulted by a group outside in the car park.

Indian officials say there are 90,000 Indian students in Australia.

The attacks have led to street protests in Australia and strained relations between the two countries. Earlier this year an Indian minister cancelled a planned trip to Australia.

Indian film star Amitabh Bachchan also turned down an honorary degree from Queensland University of Technology, saying he could not accept it under the current circumstances.

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