A 23-year-old Indian student was beaten up with iron rods by Khalistan supporters in Australia for opposing the activities of extremist elements, a media report said on Friday.
The student was on his way to work when he was attacked by assailants chanting “Khalistan Zindabad” in Sydney’s western suburb of Merrylands, The Australia Today news portal reported.
“Today, morning at 5.30 am when I was going to work, some 4-5 Khalistan supporters attacked me,” the student, who preferred anonymity, was quoted as saying.
“As soon as I sat in my driving seat, these Khalistan supporters came out of nowhere. One of them opened the left side door of my vehicle and hit me with an iron road on my cheekbone under my left eye,” he said.
The student, who also works as a driver, said he was then dragged out of the vehicle and beaten with iron rods. He added that two of the assailants also video-recorded the attack.
“They were repeatedly raising the slogan “Khalistan Zindabad” the whole time,” he was quoted as saying in the report.
“Everything happened within 5 minutes, and they left saying this should be a lesson for me for opposing the Khalistan issue. If not, they are ready to give me more lessons like this,” he said.
The New South Wales (NSF) Police were informed about the incident, and the Indian student was taken to Westmead Hospital with major injuries to his head, leg, and arm, the report said.
“Police have been told a 23-year-old man was walking along Rupert Street before he was assaulted by four men armed with a metal pole,” a police spokesperson was quoted as saying in the report.
“The 23-year-old was allegedly kicked, punched, and hit with the metal pole repeatedly before the four men left the scene in a grey sedan,” the spokesperson added.
Member of Parliament for Merrylands said, “There is no place in our local community for extremism or violence of any kind. I have contacted the relevant authorities regarding this incident and will monitor the situation as it unfolds.
In January, two separate brawls broke out between Khalistani activists and pro-India demonstrators in Melbourne during the so-called ‘Punjab independence referendum’.
India had asked the Australian government to curb the anti-India activities of the Khalistani separatists and frequent attacks on the Hindu temples in the country.
In the name of freedom of expression, space should not be given to those advocating violence or legitimising terrorism, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in New Delhi recently, amidst a spurt in anti-India activities by the Khalistani groups in some countries.