Ravi calls Victoria police chief 'petty officer' for criticising India

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Melbourne, Jan 12 (ANI): Overseas Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi has labelled Victorian Police Commissioner Simon Overland a "petty officer" for saying that Australia was safer than India and for criticising the Indian media's reporting of the issue.

Ravi, who is responsible for Indians working or studying abroad, has also rebuked Australia for failing to prevent such attacks.

"How can the government of India or the media close their eyes?" Ravi told the ABC.

"Australian ministers and political authorities should not allow any one of the petty officers to comment on India or try to defend what is happening in their country," he said.

Overland on Monday said police did not believe most of the incidents were racist in nature.

"We don't believe that most of what we are seeing is racist, some of it undoubtedly is and clearly there are people who are racist in this community just as there are in any community. But I really think this needs to be kept in perspective. ... If you look at the data they are safer here than they are in India," he told reporters.

"What we are seeing is hysterical and uninformed outcry from some forms of the Indian media and I suspect we are just going to have live with that," Overland added.

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has phoned his Indian counterpart SM Krishna in a bid to cool tensions over recent attacks on Indians in Australia.

The move came as an India urged Australia to take "all possible steps" to contain the attacks and criticised Victoria's top cop for saying Indians were safer in Australia than in India.

Smith telephoned Krishna, and "conveyed his condolences on the tragic deaths of Indian citizens in Australia in recent attacks," India's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. (ANI)

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