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 India condemns attack on student in Australia

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PostSubject: India condemns attack on student in Australia   Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:13 am

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/ap/20100104/tap-as-india-australia-attacks-79704af.html



NEW DELHI – India strongly condemned the fatal stabbing of a 21-year old Indian graduate in Australia and said Monday the incident could affect bilateral ties.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna called on Australian authorities to speedily find and charge those responsible for Saturday night's attack on Nitin Garg, saying that Indian students in Australia were increasingly targeted with violence.

Australian officials also were quick to condemn the attack in the southern city of Melbourne but urging waiting for the findings of a police investigation before judging whether it was racially motivated.

"I am obviously worried and distressed to see any act of violence and to see a murder as violent and callous as this one," Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in Melbourne on Monday. "I unreservedly condemn it. Our sympathies go to the young man's family."

Some 97,000 Indians are among more than half a million foreigners studying in Australia, an industry worth almost 12 billion Australian dollars ($11 billion) a year.

"The Australian government should realize that public opinion is getting polarized (in India) on an issue like this. So they should take note of the deep anger such incidents cause," Krishna told reporters in New Delhi.

"It certainly will have some bearing on bilateral ties between our two countries. Our concerns should adequately be met by the Australian government," he said.

The Press Trust of India news agency reported from Melbourne that Garg was an accounting graduate and had permanent residency in Australia. He was stabbed in the abdomen in a park while on his way to fast food restaurant Hungry Jack's where he worked part-time, the report said.

Last year, reports that Indian students in Australia were targeted in violent attacks prompted senior government officials to discuss the issue with New Delhi, including Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Australian police say that while some attacks on Indians are racially motivated, many are ordinary crimes. They say Indian students are vulnerable because they often travel alone late at night to part-time jobs or from universities carrying valuables such as laptop computers.

____

Associated Press writer Rohan Sullivan in Sydney contributed to this report.

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