Melbourne: In an apparent racist attack, an Indian restaurant owner was allegedly beaten up and verbally abused by a group of teenagers in Australia's Ballarat near Melbourne.
22-year-old Himanshu Goyal was allegedly assaulted while closing his Bridge Mall eatery about 9.30 pm on Friday when eight teenagers shouted racial abuse at him while another in the group punched him on face.
Ballarat Police official Matt Hayes said the incident was being investigated and police was viewing CCTV footage and hoped to track down the attackers soon, according to local media report.
Ballart mayor John Burt met Goyal today at the local hospital and vowed to hunt down the accused.
"Ballarat is a city that prides itself on being welcoming of all and I am disgusted that this type of attack has occurred," Burt said, referring to the attack which left Goyal with multiple fractures to his jaw.
"I am horrified and disgusted that this type of attack has occurred," Burt said, adding "On behalf of everyone in this city I want to express our sincere apology that this has happened to you."
"We are all on your side and I will make sure these thugs are found," the mayor said, adding he was prepared to take a stand against racism in Ballarat.
"(It) isn't just in schools where children need to be educated," Burt said. "It's throughout the whole community."
Goyal has suffered facial injuries and has been advised that he may not be able to eat for over six weeks.
His brother Utsav said the young restaurateur was overwhelmed by the amount of support the community had shown.
Goyal had migrated to Australia in 2008 from India as a student and was now running a restaurant.
"I am very scared now and am thinking of selling my shop. I have experienced racism in the past and it needs to stop," Goyal said.