Allegedly battered and bruised by three men in the middle of the night, the young man feels terrified to step out now and feels India is safer than Australia. He is now considering moving to Canada.
An international student from India, who works part-time with Uber Eats, alleges that he was beaten up by a group of "young white men" last week in Melbourne.
On November 22, just past midnight, 19-year-old Brijesh Dhiman had finished with his last food delivery order in Collingwood, less than 4 kilometres from Melbourne CBD, when he says the scooter he was riding, was hit by a car "with three white men inside."
“They blocked my way with their car first, then tried to run me over. One of them asked me what I had said to them when they tried to hit my scooter with their car. When I replied I had said nothing, they started beating me. One of them ran a knife on my neck. Thanks to my thick jacket, my neck didn’t get slit,” Mr Dhiman tells SBS Punjabi.
He says that he was beaten up by the trio for 15-20 minutes in the dead of the night and nobody came to his rescue.
“When I asked them why they were trying to kill me, they replied Australia was their country, and they can do anything they like. They guessed that was from India and told me that I should go back there,” Mr Dhiman says, adding that "after the assault, one of his eyes starting to swell up."
He says the attackers appeared to be aged between 15 and 20 years.
"I think one of them pulled out a gun from the car, but it was dark and I can't say for sure," Mr Dhiman says, adding, “Their accent was Aussie. Plus, they said Australia is their country."
"They even asked me to give them whatever I had: money, my phone. I had no money but they did try to take my phone from me, which luckily, fell from my hand and slid under a car parked on the street. I recovered it after they left and used it to call the police."
"They snatched my helmet, so I suspect they wanted to steal my rented scooter,” recalls the young man who works with Uber Eats part-time and came to study film-making in Australia one year back from Kaithal, Haryana, in north India.
Studying Bachelor of Digital Media at Melbourne’s Mcleay College, Mr Dhiman is now considering Canada as a destination for pursuing further studies because he feels “Australia is not safe.”
“I haven’t decided yet whether I should continue to stay in Australia or not, but I’m told Canada is safer. I think India too, is safer than Australia. For the moment, I just want the culprits to be punished,” says Mr Dhiman who hasn’t gone back to college since this incident took place.
“I’m too terrified. What if those guys find me? If they do, I won’t be left alive,” he fears.
A police case was registered within hours of the incident and the matter is under investigation.
Click on the player at the top of the page to listen to this interview in Punjabi.