Sydney, June 11 (IANS) The mayor of an Australian city has vowed to hunt down the perpetrators of a vicious attack on an Indian restaurant owner last week, an incident described as racist.
John Burt, mayor of the city of Ballarat in the Australian state of Victoria, has expressed disgust at the attack by eight men on Himanshu Goyal, 22, that left the victim with multiple fractures to his jaw.
"I am horrified and disgusted that this type of attack has occurred," Burt was quoted as telling The Ballarat Courier from the bedside of the victim at Ballarat Base Hospital.
"On behalf of everyone in this city I want to express our sincere apology that this has happened to you," he said.
The perpetrators, all believed to be in their late teens, punched Goyal in his face around 9.30 p.m. June 7 when he was closing his eatery in Bridge Mall in the city.
The attackers also hurled racial abuses at the victim.
"We are all on your side and I will make sure these thugs are found," Burt assured Goyal, according to The Ballarat Courier report Tuesday.
Goyal, who is expected to be released from the hospital Tuesday, will not be able to eat for more than six weeks.
Stating that he was prepared to take a stand against racism, Burt said that it was not just about schools where children needed to be educated.
"It's throughout the whole community," he said.
He also asked the people of Ballarat to support Goyal.
"Obviously he's been hurt seriously and anyone who's going to have their jaw tied up for the next six weeks is in a very bad way. It certainly shook me up and disturbed me greatly," ABC Online quoted Burt as saying.
Meanwhile, the victim's brother Utsav said the restaurateur was overwhelmed by the support he has received from the community.