Three men have been arrested in connection with violent brawls that broke out between pro-Khalistani supporters and Indian demonstrators in late January in Melbourne, Australian state Victoria’s police said on Thursday.
The arrests were made by the Melbourne East Neighbourhood Policing Team “in relation to an alleged affray” at the Federation Square on January 29, Victoria Police said in a statement today. With the latest arrests, police have so far rounded up five suspects in connection with the incident. “Police were in attendance at a Khalistan Referendum event at Federation Square on 29 January when it’s alleged two fights broke out, one at about 12.45pm and the other at about 4.30pm,” it stated.
Police said that the investigation remains ongoing and they are making enquiries to identify and apprehend any further alleged offenders from the day.
According to Victoria Police during the fight it is alleged flag poles “were used by several men as weapons which caused physical injuries to multiple victims.”
Two victims, one with a hand laceration to their head and another with a hand injury, were treated at the scene by paramedics. Several other victims sustained injuries and required medical treatment.
In both alleged incidents, police said it quickly responded to separate and disperse the crowd. OC spray (pepper spray) was used in the second incident as per the police statement.
Earlier this month the Victoria police had released images of six men seeking assistance from the public to identify them
Victoria Police today said that two men were arrested on the day of the incident itself, with a further three arrested this week.
Those arrested this week include a 23-year-old man from Kalkallo who has been charged with affray and unlawful assault, a 39-year-old man from Strathtulloh and a 36-year-old from Craigieburn, both charged with affray and violent disorder.
All the above three charged this week have been bailed to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on August 8.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had during his visit to India earlier in March had said that his country won’t tolerate any extreme actions and attacks that took place in religious buildings, and that there is no place for such action against Hindu temples.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Anthony Albanese had discussed disturbances created by pro-Khalistani outfits in Australia and the Australian Prime Minister assured that his government will take all necessary measures to ensure that peace and harmony prevail.