Melbourne: In an apparent racist attack, an Indian restaurant owner was beaten up and verbally abused by a group of teenagers in Australia's Ballarat near Melbourne.

22-year-old Himanshu Goyal was bashed up and verbally abused while closing his Bridge Mall eatery about 9.30 pm (local time) on Friday when eight teenagers shouted racial abuse at him.

Ballarat Police official Matt Hayes said the incident was being investigated and police was viewing CCTV footage and hoped to track down the attackers soon, according to local media report.

Ballart Mayor John Burt met Goyal on Tuesday vowed to hunt down the accused. "Ballarat is a city that prides itself on being welcoming of all and I am disgusted that this type of attack has occurred," Burt said.

"I am horrified and disgusted that this type of attack has occurred. On behalf of everyone in this city I want to express our sincere apology that this has happened to you,” Burt said. "We are all on your side and I will make sure these thugs are found," he added.

His brother Utsav said the young restaurateur was overwhelmed by the amount of support the community had shown. Goyal had migrated to Australia in 2008 from India as a student and was now running a restaurant. "I am very scared now and am thinking of selling my shop. I have experienced racism in the past and it needs to stop," Goyal said.

(Agencies)

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