MELBOURNE: In another vicious attack against Indians in Australia, a 12-year-old student was bullied and brutally punched in the face and had to undergo a surgery to reconstruct his eye socket.
The boy, who asked not to be named, told The Age' newspaper that two year 8 boys, whom he did not know, came up behind him at lunchtime on October 18 outside the school co-ordinator's office at Carwatha College in Noble Park here.
"For no reason they came behind me with a scarf and were pulling me. When I told them to stop, one of them punched me in the eye," the victim said.
The boy's father said his family has been so traumatised by the bashing that he is considering returning to Goa. The family now felt "scared and insecure in this area and school", he said.
He said his son had to have a titanium plate inserted under his eye and he feared there would be permanent damage.
"I feel he was attacked because he was black, because of his skin colour," his father said.
However, the Carwatha College principal Bronwyn Hamilton said the incident was being probed thoroughly and she was convinced it was a racist attack.
She said, "There has not been any other incidents involving these two particular students."
However, she said the injuries were serious and the school was very concerned.
"The student concerned was suspended and expulsion proceedings have commenced. We have taken immediate action."
A spokesman for the state education minister Brownyn Pike said bullying was common in Victorian schools.
He said all schools were required to have strong anti-bullying strategies in place and the Education Department worked with anti-bullying experts in developing new bullying guidelines.
Meanwhile, an Indian community leader has asked Victorian government to step up security in local schools after the attack.
Leader of Goan Indian community Glen Eira councillor Oscar Lobo urged the John Brumby government to put security guards in schools where bullying had occurred following the last week's incident at Carwatha College.
Over 100 incidents of attacks on Indians, including racial, have come to light since May last year in Australia. 21-year-old student Nitin Garg, who was stabbed to death here, was the first victim of such assaults this year.