Indian cabbie in Oz claims racial abuse

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Old 14-Aug-2010
Indian cabbie in Oz claims racial abuse

Melbourne, August 13

An Indian cabbie has claimed that Australian police just "smiled" when a group of passengers racially abused him outside a police station, where he had gone for support after they refused to pay the fare.

Gurpreet Singh Ashreja (29) said he was stunned that the police did nothing as they listened to passengers racially abuse him outside Chelsea police station.

He said he drove to the police station for support when his passengers refused to pay $47 in fares. Instead, he alleges, he received a loud dressing down, The Age reported. "I have no doubt that I was discriminated against because of my race," he was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

He took the six passengers to the station on the advice of the cab company, hoping to get the rest of his fare. The police had been alerted and were waiting for him outside, but one told him it was a civil matter and the police only dealt with criminal matters, the paper said.

Ashreja claimed that he was also ridiculed for not wearing the proper taxi uniform outside the cab, which the fare evaders thought was funny. He said one officer then shouted at him about the way he had parked his cab. Ashreja said the passengers got out of the cab and started shouting abuses at him., he claimed.

The policeman was "watching this and I could see a smile on his face". The police are said to be investigating the matter.

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