Li Max Joy, who works as a taxi operator in Hobart, said he was assaulted by three youths at a McDonald's outlet in Argyle St around 4.30 am, after they asked him of his ethnicity.


The youths were arguing with the storekeeper inside the restaurant but when they saw Li, they turned their attention to him.


"When I was leaving the restaurant, a person from the group approached me. He asked me if I was Indian and then started beating me up. The two others joined him. The storekeeper had to call the police to stop them," reports quoted Li as saying.


Li ended up in the Royal Hobart Hospital with injuries to his face. He said he has filed an official complaint with the Tasmania police.


In a similar incident, a Kerala priest was stabbed in the shoulder at a church in Melbourne last week, in what was seen as a racially motivated attack.