Racism or urban crime?

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Two new incidents of racially motivated attacks and abuse have come to light.

Rashpal Singh was out with his friends picnicking in Mount Bullar when he was stopped by a security guard who soon called the police because the guard felt Rashpal was inebriated. According to Rashpal the policeman was rude and aggressive, although Rashpal insisted he was not drunk. Rashpal says that he told the policeman that he had no right to stop him. According to Rashpal, the policeman then turned violent, saying, “you curry cunt, the world is spitting on us because of you. I’ll show you my powers.”

Rashpal was handcuffed and shoved into a police car, and after a nearly 20-minute drive to a police station, the policeman dragged Rashpal to the station and started kicking him. Reshpal says another policeman tried to stop the assailant but he was out of control. Rashpal was thrown back into the car and driven to Benalla, where he was put behind bars for a while. Rashpal says all through the one-hour drive to Benalla he was terrified and thought the man might kill him in a fake encounter.

Rashpal’s ordeal lasted for about seven-and-a-half hours, from 3.30 in the afternoon till about 10.30 at night. When he was released by the police he was photographed and given tissues to wipe the blood on his face. He was not given any medical aid, or any other assistance by the police. On being released he was picked up by his friends and driven back home. Rashpal then got a medical examination done. He soon started feeling sick and feverish and suicidal.

Rashpal and his friends have contacted community leaders, who are organising legal assistance to take up the matter at a higher level.

In another incident in Dandenong, recently arrived Resham Singh and his friend Satwant Singh were attacked by two African teenagers who chased them, and puched and kicked them. They then came back with four of their friends and started bashing up Resham and Satwant. One of the assailants pulled out a scissors, then pulled off Resham’s turban and cut his hair and beard, saying, “fucking Indians, go back”.

Resham too has contacted community leaders who are getting more details about the incident.

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