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Melbourne bar turns away S Asians

Press Trust Of India
Jan 16, 2010 at 02:03pm IST

Melbourne: Three Indians were among a group of six South Asians who were denied entry by a bar in Melbourne in what is being described by them as "a case of racism", amid a slew of attacks on students from the community in Australia.

"We had gone to the bar to throw a farewell party for one of our friends, Abhishek Aggarwal, who is about to leave for India" on Wednesday, said Sujan Pathak, a Nepalese citizen who was part of the group.

However, he said the youths, all in their mid-20s, were turned away by the Melbourne Centre Lion Hotel bar without giving any explanation.

IS THIS IT? Taxi drivers from South Asia at a protest demonstration in Melbourne. (file)

The group of friends -- three Indians and three Nepalese -- just wanted to know the reason for this and contacted police who refused to help them on the issue, Pathak told PTI.

All bars here display a notice outside that they can turn away any customer without giving any explanation.

"We tried to get into the bar, There were so many guys in front of us and right behind us as well in the queue. They denied us (entry), said 'you guys can't get in'," Aggarwal told NDTV over phone after the late last night incident.

"We were not drunk, we were carrying our age proof, we were properly attired. But still they said 'you guys can't get in'. They didn't give us any reason. We waited there for 10 minutes. All other guys were getting in... but we were not allowed to go inside.

"We called police and asked them for help. We told them this is a case of racism, because I don't see any other reason for not letting us in," he said.

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