Ballarat’s mayor has vowed to hunt down heartless thugs who bashed a local Indian restaurant owner in a racist attack. Mayor John Burt, speaking from the victim’s bedside at Ballarat Base Hospital, said he was disgusted by the act, which left 22-year-old Himanshu Goyal (in pic) with multiple fractures to his jaw.
“I am horrified and disgusted that this type of attack has occurred,” said a visibly shaken Burt. “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.”
Goyal was bashed and verbally abused while closing his Bridge Mall eatery about 9.30 pm on Friday. Eight men, believed to be in their late teens, shouted racial abuse at Goyal while another in the group punched him in the face.
The mayor said 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.”
An exhausted Goyal has been told by hospital staff he will not be able to eat for more than six weeks. Ballarat Police Senior Constable Matt Hayes said he was currently viewing CCTV footage and hoped to track down the attackers in the coming days.
The vicious attack has left Goyal with emotional as well as physical scars. “I am very scared now and am thinking of selling my shop. I have experienced racism in the past and it needs to stop.”