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Australian Immigration Illegally Imprisons Indian Student For 509 Days

By Dr Gideon Polya

24 October, 2011

In the last decade Australian universities have made a big effort to recruit students from India  but their efforts have become unstuck because of (1) violence against Indian university students in Melbourne and Sydney, (2) the abrupt cancellation of student visas that had enabled many overseas students to gain residence in Australia (this harming many people who had already spent large sums to do courses in Australia) and (3) the increase in the value of the Australian dollar associated with the continuing Western financial crisis and huge Australian mineral exports to China. Now the illegal imprisonment by Australia of an Indian university student for 509 days has further compromised the Indian “market” for Australian tertiary education.   

The Age newspaper of Melbourne Australia has today reported that an Indian student who paid thousands of dollars to study in Australia was illegally detained at the Villawood detention centre, Sydney ,  for 18 months because of mistakes by immigration officers.  The Australian Human Rights Commissioner Catherine Branson found that Prashant Cherkupalli, 31, should be paid $597,000 in compensation for the 509 days he was illegally detained between November 2004 and April 2006. The detention caused Prashant Cherkupalli to miss classes and forfeit $57,000 in student fees but he has since graduated with a master of engineering degree from Sydney University . Prashant Cherkupalli , who kept his 509 day ordeal secret from his family and is now suing the Australian Government  for damages, stated:  “I was ashamed to tell my parents. I came here to do something and ended up in prison. I spent thousands of dollars from my family'' (see: http://www.theage.com.au/national/student-illegally-detained-20111023-1menm.html ).

Prashant Cherkupilli is not the first person to be illegally imprisoned by Australian immigration authorities who have even illegally detained Australian citizens. Thus 63 compensation claims of illegal immigration detention were filed in Australian courts in the period  January 2000 and August 2011 and a total of $10.2 million has been paid out in compensation for illegal detention behind the razor wire of immigration detention centres.

Prashant Cherkupilli is not the first Indian studying in Australia to have been illegally detained by Australian authorities. Thus Dr Muhamed Haneef (born 29 September 1979) is an Indian doctor who was doing specialist training in Australian when he was  wrongly accused by incompetent and paranoid Australian authorities of aiding terrorists. He had stayed with a cousin in the UK  who was in turn connected  to some people involved in a violent but victim-less incident at Glasgow Airport . Dr Haneef had given what remained of his UK mobile phone SIM card to his relative on leaving the UK , this $20 gift being regarded by the Australian authorities  as evidence of financial support for terrorism. Dr Haneef was imprisoned for nearly 4  weeks, was threatened with imprisonment for 15 years under Australia's draconian anti-terrorism laws and had his visa revoked. Dr Haneef subsequently successfully sued the Australian Government for substantial damages  (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhamed_Haneef ).

Australia has a notorious record of active racism, mainly directed at Indigenous Australians, Asians and non-Europeans in general. . Australia has been involved in 24 genocidal atrocities, of which 10 are ongoing and  the first being the ongoing Aboriginal Genocide that commenced with British invasion in 1788 (9,000 Indigenous Australians die avoidably each year out of an Indigenous population of 0.5 million) (see: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/10256-australian-anzac-a-armenian-genocide.html ). Of course Australia has almost completely white-washed these ongoing genocidal atrocities out of general public perception. Thus Australia was complicit in the British mass murder of 6-7 million Indians in 1942-1945 by withholding wheat from the starving millions of Bengal and adjoining provinces during the WW2 Bengali Holocaust (Bengal Famine) (see “Bengali Holocaust: how Australia helped Britain kill 6-7 million Indians in WW2”: http://bellaciao.org/en/spip.php?article21228 ). However Australian historians have, with a few exceptions,  completely deleted from history this WW2 atrocity, Australia 's secret genocide history in general and  even how Australia was originally colonized  in 1788 to serve as a support base for British naval and military operations for the defeat of the French in the conquest of India .

Indian students studying history in Apartheid Australia will almost certainly  get a holocaust-ignoring, holocaust-denying version that ignores the 1.8 billion Indians who died avoidably from British-imposed deprivation  in the 1757-1947 Indian Holocaust and Indian Genocide under the British. Australia has a new, universally-employed  catch-phrase “moving forward” that means more of the same (the rabidly capitalist 1% violating the 99%) while conveniently ignoring the past (see “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”:   http://globalavoidablemortality.blogspot.com/2005/07/jane-austen-and-black-hole-of-british.html ).

Importantly, prospective student s must also be made aware of the Australian White Australia Policy (1901-1974) which effectively excluded Indians and other non-Europeans and from Australia but was enacted in a sneaky, secretive fashion to minimize offence to the hundreds of millions of non-European subjects of the brutal, racist British Empire.

However, today there is a secret, New White Australia Policy whereby Europeans (with some exceptions) can apply on-line for visas to enter Australia but non-Europeans (with some exceptions) must apply on a completely separate form with more rigorous demands and  submit it to an Australian embassy. This New White Australia Policy meant, for example, that the Indian national  bowls team who wanted to do some training in Australia prior to the New Delhi Commonwealth Games, were excluded. An Immigration official said that the players and their trainer were a flight risk after they were found to have insufficient bank savings and to lack incentives to return home: "Consideration was given to each applicant's reasons for visiting Australia , their financial capacity and their incentives to return to their home country. If applicants have insufficient funds to support their stay or a determination is made there are insufficient incentives for an applicant's return home, the visa application is refused" (see “Oz refusal of visas to Indian lawn bowls team ‘ultimate case of Indian-bashing'” : http://www.topnews.in/sports/oz-refusal-visas-indian-lawn-bowls-team-ultimate-case-indian-bashing-211584 ).

Australia's racist paranoia about Asians and non-Europeans extends from the illegal imprisonment of Indians studying in Australia, the abitrary withdrawal of student visas from students who had already paid huge course fees and the insulting exclusion of the Indian national lawn bowls team to the utterly obscene mass imprisonment of Asian  and Aboriginal children. Thus Apartheid Israel is one of the world's best friends of race-based, racist Zionist-run  Apartheid Israel that currently has 194 Palestinian children in Israeli jails (see: http://www.newstatesman.com/international-politics/2011/10/palestinian-children-israel ) and continues to highly abusively imprison 800,000 Palestinian children in what the Catholic Church has described as the Gaza Concentration Camp. Apartheid Australia currently has 100 Indonesian children in prison (awaiting trial for the "crime" of being boat crew on boats bringing desperate Muslim refugees into Australian waters) and has about 400 mainly Muslim refugee children in indefinite detention without trial for the "crime" of being refugees. In Western Australia alone, 74% of about 200 children in prison are Aboriginal although Aboriginals represent only 4% of the state population.

Indians thinking about studying in Australia should seriously consider whether  they want to study in a racist, holocaust-complicit, holocaust-ignoring, anti-truth, anti-intellectual, anti-Asian country and  the chances, albeit low,  of being bashed, of having their visas arbitrarily revoked, or of being falsely and abusively imprisoned because of pro-Zionist, pro-US, anti-Asian, racist  White Australia's paranoia about terrorism and non-Europeans.

Dr Gideon Polya currently teaches science students at a major Australian university. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has recently published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007): http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/s1445960.htm ) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html ). He has just published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://www.open2.net/thingsweforgot/ bengalfamine_programme.html ). When words fail one can say it in pictures - for images of Gideon Polya's huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/ .  





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