Indian-origin man set on fire in Melbourne

A 29-year-old Indian-origin man was set ablaze by a group of four attackers in Melbourne on Saturday, a week after a student from the country was stabbed to death amid a slew of assaults on the community in Australia.

The man, who suffered 15 per cent burns including on his arms, chest and face, was admitted to 'The Alfred' hospital after he was attacked shortly before 2 am local time (0730 HRS IST) in Melbourne's Essendon area.

The man, who was not identified, and his wife left a dinner party in Essendon, in the city's northwest, between 1.30 am and 2 am and drove to their nearby home in Grice Crescent. He dropped his wife at home and had gone to park his car when he was attacked, local media reported.

Police said that as he was getting out of the car, four men attacked him, pushing him back against the vehicle and pouring an unknown fluid on him. One of the men then ignited the fluid with a lighter before all the attackers fled.

The victim, who is now in a stable condition in the hospital, ran from the car while peeling off his clothes, 'The Age' reported.

The attack comes a week after the stabbing death of 21-year-old Indian graduate Nitin Garg in a Yarraville park while he was on his way to his part-time job in a restaurant.

The body of another Indian youth, 25-year-old Ranjodh Singh, was found beside Wilga Road in Willbriggie in the neighbouring state of New South Wales on December 29. The incident was reported earlier this week.

A police spokeswoman said investigators do not yet know any motive or circumstances surrounding today's Essendon attack.

"They don't believe it was racially motivated at this stage," she said.

The ABC reported that the man is of Indian origin but said police do not know whether he is an Australian citizen.

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