Indian cabbie assaulted, abused in another racial attack in Australia
In yet another incident of racially-charged violence, a 25-year-old Indian taxi driver in Australia was assaulted by two passengers, including a woman, who yelled racial slurs at him, media reports said.
Pardeep Singh, who is studying hospitality in the country, was beaten at the Sandy Bay McDonald's drive-through in Australia's island state of Tasmania on Saturday night.
Singh said he was attacked when he asked his passenger to step outside the cab because she was going to vomit, The Mercury reported.
"If you mess up the car you have to pay a cleaning fee," Singh told the passengers.
Singh alleged the woman passenger told him in an expletive-filled rant that she wouldn't pay the fare or cleaning fee.
"They punched me too many times and kicked me," Singh said.
"[They said] 'You f.....g Indians deserve this'."
Singh was admitted to the Royal Hobart Hospital.
Inspector Ian Whish-Wilson said a man and a woman have been charged in relation to the assault on Singh.
They will appear in the Hobart Magistrates Court on June 26.
"It is alleged that the driver asked the passengers to leave his taxi after one of them was sick," Wilson said.
"There was a dispute over payment and it is alleged the passengers assaulted the driver and damaged the vehicle. It was alleged a racial comment was made during the assault but it does not appear that the incident was racially motivated," he added.
Their have been a rise in racial attacks in Australia in past year. While three Indian taxi drivers have been attacked in less than a year, an Indian-origin Catholic priest was stabbed in Melbourne by a man who said he was qualified to say mass at the church.
On March 20, a man armed with a knife approached Tomy Kalathoor Mathew, 48, in the church foyer moments before the Italian-language mass at St Matthew's Parish in Fawkner.
The priest was stabbed by a man who called him unqualified to say mass as he was an Indian, prompting the Indian consulate to take up the matter with the police.
Indian cabbie Li Max Joy was assaulted by four teenagers in the Argyle St McDonald's in the early hours of March 25 and a driver was assaulted by four men in June last year.
Wilson said charges have also been laid in relation to the March assault on Joy but no "special investigative unit" has been established.
Singh said he will not drive taxis again "because it's so dangerous".
(With PTI inputs)