Melbourne, Sep.16 (ANI): Victoria Police has denied they had a plan to limit publicity about the bashing of four Indian men outside a Melbourne pub on Saturday night.
Four men were arrested in relation to assault and affray, but they were released pending further investigations.
Police believe a fifth man may also have been involved in the bashing outside a pub at Epping in Melbourne’s east.
Details of the incident only emerged publicly today, prompting an outraged Indian media to claim Victoria Police had been involved in a cover-up.
Police said the Indian media were made aware of the incident via “other channels”.
Acting Senior Sergeant Glenn Parker said there was no cover-up, although he did admit the police media department would have known about the incident in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“Unfortunately, this type of incident occurs regularly. This is really treated no differently to any other event of this type. There has been no deliberate attempt to suppress it. It’s just part of normal procedure. It’s attracted more media attention than anticipated,” news.com.au quoted him, as saying.
According to the police, the four men were playing pool on Saturday night at a bar in High St, Epping, when a female hurled a racist remark at them.
The men left not long after but were followed into a car park by up to four males who were part of a larger group celebrating a birthday in the bar’s function room.
It has been alleged the Indian men were set upon and seriously assaulted by the group of males.
Police were called and arrested four males, who were interviewed in relation to assault and affray. ll four were released pending further investigations.
While only four men were arrested, one of the alleged victims told ABC Radio today that more than 70 people could have been involved.
He said the attackers didn’t use weapons, but racism was behind the incident.
“Definitely racism,” he said.
Police say that when the arrests were made, a group of about 15 men and women, who had been celebrating a birthday, directed racist abuse at the Indian men.
As the victims were escorted away by police, officers allege the larger group continued its “threatening behaviour and racist remarks”. (ANI)