Indian Express | Yahoo News | Tue, Jan 5 2010 | 07:12 AM
With the brutal killing of 21-year-old Nitin Garg in Australia capping a series of attacks against Indian students over the last one year, Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal will be flying to Australia in April with this issue set to be topmost on his agenda. A worried Australian administration is also set to authorise “wider search and seizure powers to the police” in targeted areas, including Footscray where Nitin was stabbed, and “a crackdown on knife-wielding street gangs,” the Consul General of India in Australia has informed the HRD Ministry. Sibal will go on a week-long visit to Australia, stopping over at Victoria where the bulk of Indian students study and where most of the attacks against Indians have been reported.
Sibal’s visit will follow the Australian premier’s trip to India last year when the issue of safety of Indian students and the spate of attacks against them was discussed. Over 1.2 lakh Indian students are in Australia and as many as 100 attacks against them have been reported in the last one year, according to figures provided by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in reply to queries in the Rajya Sabha last month. The attack against Indians apart, a possible collaboration with Australian institutes for skill development programmes for ITIs and Polytechnics will also be discussed during Sibal’s visit, said sources.
While External Affairs Minister S M Krishna expressed serious concerns over Nitin’s death and the safety of Indian students in Australia, the HRD Ministry has been keeping a watch on the increasing number of attacks against Indian students. Nitin, an accountancy graduate, was working part time at Hungry Jack’s outlet in West Footscray. The Indian Consul General has informed the HRD Ministry that Nitin was stabbed in the stomach around 10 pm on January 2 on his way to the outlet.
BBC NEWS | 2010/01/04 | 05:02:25 GMT
The governments of India and Australia have condemned the killing of an Indian student in the Australian city of Melbourne on Saturday night. Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna urged the Australian authorities to “speedily book” the people responsible for the killing of Nitin Garg. Mr. Garg was stabbed to death on his way to a fast food restaurant in Melbourne. There have been a number of attacks on Indian students in Australia in the past year. Australian police blamed the attacks on opportunistic criminals, but some Indian students see them as racist. The attacks have caused outrage in India and prompted Australian PM Kevin Rudd to reassure the Indian government that Australia is not a racist country. Melbourne police said that the motive for the latest attack on Mr. Garg, 21, an accounting graduate from the northern Indian state of Punjab, was not known.
Mr. Krishna said the attack was “highly condemnable.” He said the Australian government should realise such attacks were making public opinion in India “polarised.” He said Australian authorities should take note of the “deep anger” caused by such attacks, and their possible effect on bilateral ties. Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has also condemned the attack. “This is a nation that welcomes international students. We want to make them welcome, this is a welcoming and accepting country,” Ms Gillard was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency. Continue reading