Indian immigrant beaten, set on fire in Italy
A homeless Indian immigrant has been beaten up and set on fire near Rome. The victim, who has been admitted to hospital with serious burns, was sleeping at the train station in the town of Nettuno when he was attacked by three young men. They beat him brutally and set him on fire using petrol.
A police official said the attack was apparently not motivated by xenophobia. The three had been drinking and using drugs, and wanted to make "a powerful gesture".
Hospitalised in a serious condition, the 35-year-old homeless man was sleeping in Nettuno train station south of Rome when several people beat him brutally before setting him on fire with a container of petrol, police told ANSA news agency.
He was able to talk to the police — alerted by an anonymous tip-off — when they arrived at the scene.
Police are investigating whether the incident was an anti-immigrant attack, but had not ruled out a robbery motive.
Rome's Mayor Gianni Alemanno also raised the possibility that it may have been carried out in revenge for the recent rape of a young Italian girl.
"Nobody has the right to seek justice all alone," he said, adding that "if someone thinks (the rape case) is an excuse for xenophobic retaliations, they are severely wrong."
Opposition leader Walter Veltroni also spoke of his "indignation" at the attack and expressed "solidarity for the young Indian."
A pro-immigration organisation said it plans to stage a sit-in "against racism" in front of Nettuno town hall on Monday afternoon.