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International student Devarshi ‘Dev’ Deka is fighting to stay in Australia after alleged attack left him paralyzed


An Indian student is fighting to stay in Australia after being left paralyzed following a horrific alleged attack in Tasmania.

Devarshi ‘Dev’ Deka started studying at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) last year, but his exciting new life took a tragic turn after an alleged assault in November.

Mr Deka was at Salamanca Market on Hobart’s waterfront when he was allegedly attacked, prompting him to be placed in an induced coma.

It was later discovered that Mr. Deka was left paralyzed and suffered a brain injury.

Mr Deka is determined to remain in Australia where he can receive high quality medical care while being surrounded by those he loves.

Devarshi ‘Dev’ Deka (pictured) celebrated his 33rd birthday as the Tasmanian community continues to rally for his permanent residency in Australia

He celebrated his 33rd birthday in north Hobart on Saturday in a case his close friend Rishabh ‘Rick’ Kaushik said proved he had the community’s back.

“The reason they’re here is just to show Dev that he’s not alone in his fight; he is not alone in these difficult times and that has enhanced the image of Tasmania in Dev’s mind,» Mr Kaushik told the ABC.

«This is one of the main reasons why he doesn’t want to leave, because he knows that the people here love him and will continue to love him until he is able to stay here.»

Mr Deka’s father, Kula Ranjan Depa, also shared the family’s «gratitude» for the community’s support as the emotional support helps his son mentally and physically.

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A massive GoFundMe set up to help cover Mr Deko’s medical bills and keep his family united in Tasmania has raised more than $94,000 from more than 1,800 donors.

UTAS also agreed to extend Mr. Deka’s accommodation for as long as he needed.

However, if Mr. Deko is not granted permanent residency before his student visa expires, he will be forced to move back to India.

His flight back home would be covered by insurance, but not his ongoing treatment.

Mr Deka’s family said he would not be able to access the much-needed medical support he needs in India.

Mr Deka (pictured with loved ones) was left paralyzed and brain injured after an alleged attack in Hobart last year, but must move back to India after his student visa expires.

Mr Deka (pictured with loved ones) was left paralyzed and brain injured after an alleged attack in Hobart last year, but is at risk of moving back to India after his student visa expires.

The Multicultural Council of Tasmania has launched a petition to lobby Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff to get the Federal Government to grant permanent residency to Mr Deko.

The petition had more than 6,400 signatures by Monday morning, but will close at midnight.

Its sponsor, Greens MP Helen Burnett, said the number of signatories who had already backed Mr Deka was an «amazing show of strength».

«It happened in Tasmania and it’s very important that Australians, and Tasmanians in particular, show that support and that’s what they’re doing by signing this petition,» she said.

The petition will be tabled in parliament next week.

Mr. Kaushik said that Mr. Deka is improving steadily with continued rehabilitation and treatment.

A 24-year-old man has been charged with the alleged assault and is due to appear in court in Hobart in June.

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