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'Racist attack has come as a big shock to us'

By Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad
Last updated on: June 23, 2009 17:04 IST
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The family of Mir Kazim Ali Khan, the latest victim of racist violence in Australia, is in a state of shock ever since they heard about the attack on him in a Melbourne suburb.

Twenty-year-old Ali, a student of Hospitality Management in Melbourne, was away from home for the last one-and-a-half year and the news of attack on him came at a time when the family was already worried over the spate of racist attacks on Indians in Australia.

The family members are anxiously awaiting phone calls from Australia to know more about his condition.

"We have already seen his photographs, emailed to us by his friends, and he seems to be conscious and talking," said Raza Ali Khan, brother of Kazi.

Several people have gathered at the family's home in Mir Chowk area of old city after hearing the news. Area legislator Syed Ahmad Pasha Quadri also visited the home and spoke to the family.

"We came to know of the attack on Monday evening and I have been in touch with Kazim's friends who are looking after him," said Raza.

According to the family, Kazi received injuries on the forehead and other parts of the body. His nose was also fractured.

"It has come a big shock to all of us. I appeal to the Indian government to do something and stop this violence against our people. I am worried not only about my brother but all Indian students. They are also like brothers to me," said Raza Ali Khan.

Kazim's father Syed Ali Khan, a retired government employee, is in hospital due to heart ailment. He has not been told about the incident.

Kazim is the second student from Andhra Pradesh to be targeted by racists in Australia. Earlier, Shravan Kumar from Khammam district was seriously injured in an attack by four youths in Melbourne. 

Shravan, a student of Automobile engineering, was admitted to Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition but now he was slowly recovering.  The government of Andhra Pradesh announced financial assistance of half a million Rupees to Shravan's family for his treatment in Australia and to enable a family member to stay there. 

Shravan, who was in coma earlier, has recovered to the extent that he was able to walk for a short distance.

There have been a series of racist attacks on Indian students in Australia despite protests by the government of India and Indian students' community in the host country. The matter has now been taken before the Supreme Court, which has issued a notice to the Indian government seeking the details of the action taken by it on the issue.

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Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad