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Aussie Policemen Sacked, 15 Face Action For Sending Racist E-Mails

Melbourne, Oct 9: Four Australian police officers have been sacked in connection with the circulation of racist emails and disciplinary action has been initiated against 15 others. While four have been sacked, one has been
PTI October 09, 2010 22:38 IST
PTI
Melbourne, Oct 9: Four Australian police officers have been sacked in connection with the circulation of racist emails and disciplinary action has been initiated against 15 others.

While four have been sacked, one has been demoted, another five have been fined up to 3000 dollars and placed on 12-month good behaviour bonds for taking part, an AAP report said today.

Top police officers were caught in a racist e-mail scandal joking about the electrocution of an Indian train passenger and suggesting that it could be "a way to fix the Indian student problem" in Melbourne.

The emails that were probed contain pornographic, homophobic, racist and violent material.

The police officers of the Australian state of Victoria circulated sickening video footage showing the death of the man, who was travelling on the roof of a crowded train in India, 'The Herald Sun' reported today.



Victoria Police said today it would resume disciplinary hearings this week into the circulation of pornographic and racist emails within the force.

Nine officers will front the disciplinary panel on October 12 and October 15, with six to be heard the following week. Two officers quit rather than face the secret hearings.

In March, a sergeant resigned and committed suicide after being involved in the investigation.

State Chief Commissioner Simon Overland and Premier John Brumby have condemned the actions of the police involved.

Overland described the material as "disturbing, offensive and gross", while Brumby said the racist e-mail was "contrary to the views and values at the heart of the Victorian community".

They have been allegedly circulated by officials of all ranks, including three superintendents. 



Angered over the racist e-mail scandal involving top Australian police officers, India today summoned its High Commissioner Peter Varghese and asked what action has been taken by his government in the matter.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna had directed the Ministry to seek explanation from Varghese after emails containing racial slurs against Indians by top Victorian police officers was made public by the Australian media.

Varghese was asked what action has been taken since the scandal has came to light, sources told PTI.

 In a shocking incident, top Australian police officers were caught in a racist e-mail scandal joking about the electrocution of an Indian train passenger and suggesting that it could be "a way to fix the Indian student problem" in Melbourne.

The police officers of the Australian state of Victoria circulated sickening video footage showing the death of the man, who was travelling on the roof of a crowded train in India, 'The Herald Sun' reported today.

When the train stopped at a station the man stood up and touched an overhead power cable. Onlookers screamed as he was  electrocuted, showed the clip contained in one of the offending e-mails.

The e-mail containing the shocking video begancirculating in the Victoria Police computer system and racist comments were added, suggesting "this might be a way to fix the Indian student problem".The paper said it has discovered some of the force's highest-ranked officers have been implicated in the scandal, which also involves pornographic material.

Three superintendents were nabbed during an investigation into the circulation of inappropriate e-mails through the police computer system and several inspectors have also been caught, the report said.E-mails probed by the Ethical Standards Department's (ESD's) Operation Barrot contain pornographic, homophobic, racist and violent material.

Reacting to the scandal, Chief Commissioner Simon Overland described the e-mails as "disturbing, offensive and gross".

The scandal involving "sick" Victorian police officers came at a time when the force's command was trying to ease racial tension after a number of assault cases involving Indian students living in Melbourne.Victorian Premier John Brumby criticised the actions of the police who circulated the racist material.

"This is completely offensive and contrary to the views and values at the heart of the Victorian community – tolerance and respect," he said.

A police spokesman said the e-mails were offensive."These are matters which demanded we took action. Some of the content was extremely offensive and we can't tolerate that within the ranks of Victoria Police," he said.  

Federation of Indian Students spokesman Gautam Gupta said he was appalled. "It is outrageous that police officers would joke about the death of anyone. I am really shocked.  This is humour in very, very bad taste," he was quoted as saying.

None of the superintendents or inspectors caught during the sweep have been interviewed by ESD yet, the paper said,adding it believes it has been unofficially suggested to two long-serving superintendents that they should retire as soon as possible to avoid disciplinary action.

A sergeant, two leading senior constables and a seniorconstable have already been sacked and six other low-ranking police have been demoted or fined.Healesville sergeant Tony Vangorp took his life in March after being suspended and being told he faced the sack over inappropriate e-mails, the report said. Fifteen officers will be dealt with at disciplinary hearings in the next fortnight, it said. PTI