Australia observes zero tolerance on racial attacks, says delegation

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Mumbai, July 9 (ANI): An Australian delegation, which is on a visit to India, has said that Australia has no tolerance for racist attacks and that overseas students should take precautions to keep themselves safe.

Interacting with reporters here on Wednesday, Paul Evans, Assistant Commissioner for Victoria Police, said Australia has no tolerance for racial attacks and some of the offenders who have been detained would be dealt with severely.

"The Australian Government got no tolerance for racist attacks. We have got no tolerance for racism. We had racial discrimination legislation for a long time. I know that students are going to be safe in Australia and safe if they take right precautions and take care. We have caught offenders. They would be put before the courts and they would be dealt with severely," Evans said.

Arun Sharma, an Indian-origin member of the Australian delegation, said the attacks were not racial, but attacks by some opportunistic children with criminal minds.

"These are not racial attacks. These are opportunity attacks. There are two to three areas in Melbourne where during late night some children with criminal mind carried out these attacks. These are not racial attacks," he said.

A high-level delegation from Canberra, led by Colin Walters from the Australian Department of Education, is in India. The delegation met Indian officials in New Delhi on Monday.

The delegation will also visit Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Chandigarh and Kolkata.

Australia has come under intense pressure in the Indian media after a series of recent brutal attacks on students in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

More than 1,400 students and other immigrants have reportedly been victims of racial abuse Down Under.

The issue strained diplomatic relations and led to urgent talks between Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. (ANI)

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