Police in the state of Victoria continue to maintain the recent spate of attacks on Indian students are not racially motivated at all.
Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said there was no indication that a sharp rise in assaults and robberies against Indian students in Melbourne's west were a result of race hate. Mr Walshe said there was a perception that Indian people were weak prey for criminals.
Advertisement"I don't think they are (racist crimes) in general ... more opportunistic activity," he said.
"We think they are vulnerable, we don't think it's racial, we think they are a weak target."
But the party gatecrashers who brutally set upon four Indian students with a screwdriver last week did scream racial abuse, said a witness, still in a state of shock.
"We feel we are not safe in this country...They are taking so many fees and taxes from international students, but they are not protecting us," said Srinivas Vedantam angrily.
The Federation of Indian Students of Australia said the Indian government should declare Australia an unsafe destination for Indian students if the attacks continued. Chief Commissioner Simon Overland has met the Indian High Commissioner to discuss the issue, which has gained prominent media coverage in India.
The Melbourne Herald Sun editorially commented, Victorians have read with increasing alarm of the weekly incidents of brutal knife attacks.
For years this violent trend has escalated to the point where officials and the community can no longer tolerate the stabbing deaths and maimings that happen outside Melbourne nightclubs and in our streets.
A worrying culture has seen more and more people, particularly the young, willing to carry weapons.
The inevitable result of this readiness to carry weapons has been an explosion in the number of attacks involving knives and machetes.
The killing of good Samaritan Luke Mitchell - one of four stabbings this week -- is the latest illustration of the truly devastating impact of these crimes.
The State Government needs to heed the call to crack down immediately on the problem -- through education campaigns; by giving careful consideration to metal detectors at nightclubs; establishing greater penalties for weapons possession and, if need be, expanded powers for police to search and seize.
Too many families have already paid too high a price for continued inaction on this deadly issue."
Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said, "I am deeply saddened and shocked by the attack on a group of Indian students in Melbourne over the weekend and condemn it unreservedly,"
She announced earlier this week the Government would establish a round table to discuss how international students experience Australia.
The move follows a spate of bashings in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Two people have been interviewed about the weekend incident.
One has been charged with assault and is in custody.
Education, Australia's third largest export, generated $15.5billion last year, AAP reported.