Too early to term Nitin Garg's murder racially motivated: Sharma

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Melbourne, Jan 6 (ANI): India's Deputy High Commissioner in Canberra, VK Sharma, today said that New Delhi's concerns about the latest attack on an Indian student in Australian have been conveyed to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, adding that it would be too early to point that Nitin Garg's murder was racially motivated.

Police have not ruled out racism as a motive but say there is no evidence to support this.

Sharma said India had asked Australia to do all it could to prevent assaults on Indians and bring the culprits of Saturday's attack to justice. But he said "nobody knows" if attacks on Indians were racially motivated.

When asked whether the Indian Government believed Garg's murder could have been race-related, Sharma replied: "That, we can't say anything until the police come out with the facts."

Gautam Gupta, secretary of the Federation of Indian Students of Australia, agreed it would be "premature and inappropriate to draw conclusions about the tragedy."

However, on an ABC website Gupta maintained that racism in Australia was "still alive and being reborn in a new generation."

"What is clear to those of us dealing at the coalface of this problem is that a section of Australia has embraced curry-bashing and that institutional racism in the police force and the media and political elites means Australia is ill-equipped to deal with the problem in an open, honest manner," he wrote.

The investigation into Garg's death continued as NSW homicide detectives took over the case of a 25-year-old Indian found dead with a badly burnt face on the side of a road south of Griffith.

The Australian reports that the man is believed to be Ranjodh Singh, the son of Gurmail Singh, from Nabha in Punjab.

Indian Consul-General Amit Dasgupta said consular staff had spoken to the man's family in Punjab, who were waiting for the results of DNA-testing to confirm the body was their son. (ANI)

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