India issues note of caution to students in Australia

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New Delhi, Jan 8 (ANI): Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor has said that New Delhi has issued a note of caution to its students studying in Australia following a series of attacks.

Talking to reporters here on the sidelines of a book release function on Thursday, Tharoor said: "There are sadly incidences of violence and crime everywhere in our country, what we don't want is for a continuing pattern of attacks against our citizens. So we have taken steps of advising our citizens what to do and what not to do, but beyond that, let leave it to the Australian government to deal with the problem as a law and order problem of their country."

This week Australian daily The Age quoted acting Foreign Minister Simon Crean asking his Indian counterpart S M Krishna not to create "hysteria" over the killing of Nitin Garg, who was stabbed to death on January 2 night, a remark later denied by the Australian High Commissioner in New Delhi, Peter Varghese.

"I had spoken to High Commission of Australia. That particular word apparently comes from an Australian newspaper headline and not from the comments of Australian Minister. Look we should think dial down the temperature on this. We are very concerned about the life and safety of Indians in Australia and particularly our students. We have urged them to please take sensible precautions, not to go to certain places in the dark, to know their routes, to travel in lighted areas, to travel in groups, all these advice have been issues by the ministry because we are concerned about the health, safety and wellbeing of our citizens," Tharoor said.

About 115,000 Indians have studied in Australia over the past 12 months, but attacks on members of the community have created fears that the country may not be a safe education destination.

India's Foreign Ministry has issued an advisory to its nationals studying in Australia, flagging "several incidents of robbery and assault" despite stepped up measures by police to confront the attacks. (ANI)

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