ibnlive » India

Dec 26, 2010 at 02:22pm IST

Despite attacks Indians stay in Australia

Melbourne: It's been over a year since the attacks against Indians in Australia made headlines. Since then, the Australian government changed immigration laws, increased the police force, and started international student support groups. They have been successful in decreasing the number of attacks, but let's find out what happened to the earlier victims.

Kanan was one of the first victims of violence against Indians in Australia way in March 2008. Attacked at Sunshine station in the early hours of the morning, the attack costs him an eye.

"I will remember it everyday, I wake up with impaired vision to remember it every day," said Kanan.

Another victim, attacked in a neighboring town, ended up losing his life.

Nitin Garg was stabbed to death in January 2010 in West Footscray where he worked at the Hungry Jack's. In October this year, one of the two minors charged was convicted.

But that provides no relief to Nitin's roommates.

"It hurt more that the attackers were teenagers, they have not seen anything yet and they ruined three lives, two of their own and one of ours," said Sandeep.

While some media were quick to label these all to be racist attacks, even a year later the victims disagree.

"They've admitted it was them, but not said why they did it so how can we say it was racist?" questions Sandeep.

Even after being attacked, these victims chose to stay in Australia and pursue their permanent residency instead of returning home.

"It (Australia) is a good country to live in. No country is perfect, but because of a few bad people you can't label it bad," said Kanan.

In fact it's the country's reputation most at stake and the government is keen to reverse the negative effect on its global image.

"All I can do is assure people that Australia is safe open to Indian students," said Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen.