Attacks in Australia not racist, NRI tells apex court

NEW DELHI - A Melbourne-based expatriate Indian has told the Supreme Court it will be “wrong and counter productive” to dub as racist the recent attacks on Indians in Australia.

Twenty eight-year-old charted accountant Pradeep Ahlawat has made this assertion in an affidavit filed with the apex court.

Ahlawat has described the spate of attacks on Indian students as a general law and order problem arising out of the fact that Indian students end up residing in dangerous localities or suburbs of major towns frequented by addicts and petty criminals, and become their soft target while commuting in the late hours.

In his affidavit, Ahlawat said unscrupulous education counsellors, both in India and Australia, trick Indian students into wrong institutions, often located in dubious and dangerous areas there, in lieu of “kickbacks” from such institutes.

Ahlawat filed his affidavit after a permission by the apex court to tell his first-hand experience as an expatriate Indian in Australia.

The submissions were made during the apex court’s hearing of a lawsuit seeking directions to the Indian government to ensure security to its students there in consultation with the Australian government.

“The problem usually starts the moment a prospective student in India goes to a counsellor or education agent for admission. Most of these education agents have mushroomed in whole of India. They are neither authorized nor regularized,” said Ahlawat.

“Most of these agents know little about Australian life, its laws on entitlement to work and about the ratings of the institutes in which they get the students enrolled. Sometimes these agents recommend such institutes to students which are not up to the expectations of the student,” said Ahlawat.

“The prospective students are totally kept in dark by these agents. These agents usually recommend keeping in mind the kickbacks that they receive from these institutes. They do not care about the welfare of the student,” the NRI said.

“Under these circumstances, a student lands up in a different continent without having proper information and knowledge to settle there, and ends up residing in dubious and wrong places infested with antisocial or criminal elements,” he said.

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