Congress asks Australia to take stern action on Melbourne Gurudwara fire incident

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New Delhi, Jan 14(ANI): Amid growing outrage in India after an under construction Gurudwara in Melbourne was allegedly damaged in fire, Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari on Thursday asked the Australian Government to take immediate action and uphold the law.

In what has been termed as an "attack on religion", a Gurudwara was allegedly torched by arsonists in Melbourne, placing further strain on diplomatic relations already damaged by a series of racial attacks on Indian students.

Addressing the media in the national capital, Tiwari said: "Obviously, it is very clear that a premeditated attempt has been made to carry out arson in that Gurudwara and mere homilies from the Australian Government will not do."

"It is time that the Australian Government walked the talk because you have had one person getting killed, you have had 1400 odd attacks take place over the last couple of years and the Australian Government needs to come forth and tell the people of India that they have acted against the perpetrators, so that there can be an element of deterrence to it," he added.

However, detectives in charge of the investigation are yet to be establish whether race or religion had motivated the arsonists.

"At this stage there is nothing to suggest it is (race-related) other than the fact that it happened to a temple," Detective Constable Paul Stow had said.

Attacks against Indian students in 2009, mainly in Melbourne city, led to protests by students and prompted Julia Gillard, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Education and Social Inclusion, and other Australian ministers to visit India and give the assurance that steps were being taken to stop the attacks.

In the latest in a series of attacks, a 29-year-old Indian man, Jaspreet Singh, was attacked and set alight while he was parking his car in Melbourne on Saturday (January 09).

The Australian police still only have general descriptions of the attackers and say that they have not yet been found. (ANI)

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