Two Indian women were attacked by an Australian woman and hurled racial abuses in Melbourne, prompting the police to launch a probe.
The attacker, believed to be in her thirties, racially abused the Indian passengers on a bus "throughout the journey into the city" on December 12, the police said on Thursday.
The Indian women, in their twenties, were walking down the aisle of the bus looking for
a seat when one of them accidently bumped the Australian passenger, already seated, with her handbag. The Indian woman turned to apologise but was racially abused, the police said.
"The racial abuse continued throughout the journey. When the two women got off the bus at the corner of Queen and Collins streets, the abusive woman followed and attacked them," the police statement said.
The attacker slapped one woman across the face and knocked a phone from the hand of the other victim when she tried to call the police. She warned them not to inform the police before fleeing in a taxi.
Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward and help in the investigation.
The assault comes weeks after another case of racial abuse on Melbourne's public transport
system made headlines. Passengers on a bus yelled abuse and threats at some French girls who were singing a song in French.