Australia aware of India's concern over attacks on Indians: Rao

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New Delhi, Jan.17 (ANI): The Australian Government is aware of the Indian Government's concerns on the issue of attacks on Indians in Australia, said Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.

"The Australian Government has been sensitised to our concerns and we have impressed upon them that they need to do more to address the cause of this violence and to bring the perpetrators to book because you need to restore the climate of confidence and security among Indians living in Australia," Rao told Karan Thapar, the host of the CNN-IBN Devil's Advocate programme.

The Australian Government has engaged with us closely in the wake of the attacks and there has been a continuing dialogue and communication. We have a good relationship with Australia. From the Australian side it is often defined as excellent, and we have shared that assessment. But we must not let these events cast a shadow on the relationship," Rao added.

Referring to Minister for Overseas Affairs Vayalar Ravi's statement that the Australians are not doing enough to prosecute the offenders, Rao said: "The Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs has expressed that legitimate sense of concern that we feel."

When asked whether a racist angle could be attributed to the attacks, Rao said:

"Let us look at the situation. You have had one community targeted. You have had persons belonging to one community targeted. And these attacks have kept occurring. There has been a certain pattern of these attacks. What the Australians tell us is that you could attribute this to urban violence, opportunistic violence, but that racism could also be an element in this.

So, let us see. The investigations are going on. But we are concerned that it is just this one community that has been targeted."

While acknowledging the concerns of the Indians and Indian media on the issue, Rao cautioned that every reaction made, should be assessed in the larger context.

"There is a very large number of Indians who live in Australia, who have made Australia their home over the decades. And, you must ensure that while you must report without fear or favour, your responses, your assessments have to be calibrated and measured to the extent possible," Rao said.

The media, she said, must keep things in context.(ANI)

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