India demands credible answers from Oz

Posted By: Staff
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Melbourne, Feb 10: Alarmed by the spate of attacks on Indians in Australia, India has on Wednesday demanded "credible answers" from Australia to calm down anxious parents.

"It is important to understand that there is anger and frustration in India over what is happening (in Australia)," Indian High Commissioner Sujatha Singh wrote in an article in a mainstream newspaper.

Expressing the anxiety of parents of over 120,000 Indian students in Australia, she said that they are asking for clear answers to their questions.

"Are our children safe in Australia? Why does it seem that only, or mainly, Indians are the victims? Are the assailants being caught? Are they being punished? Is the situation becoming better or worse?" she wrote.

Ahead of her visit to Australia in connection with the attacks, Singh cited the importance of offering a clear answer to worried parents back home in India.

"I cannot overstate the importance of keeping the human element in the forefront in providing credible answers to these questions and sending a clear message to parents far away in India, worrying about their children in Australia," she noted.

She added that the Indians were concerned over the increase in attacks on Indians in the country, adding that incidents of Indian being attack were highest in Melbourne.

"The assaults on Indian students and members of the larger Indian community in Australia over the past few months have puzzled us all... The fundamental issue is the growing number of attacks, which seem to be disproportionately affecting Indians, especially in and around Melbourne," she said.

Challenging the theory of Indians being targeted because of using public transport late night, Singh questioned as to why the attacks were less in other cities.

"We are told that one of the reasons our students are being attacked in Melbourne is that they take public transport late at night. In this case, it should then apply to Indian students all across Australia," she said.

Singh, who has been invited to hold discussion over the issue, said that India acknowledges the country's attempt to address the issues, which were often complex and interrelated.

"it is important to go beyond rhetoric. We have to make the situation better. It is necessary to see the results on the ground."

Her statement came a day after the Australia admitted that some the attacks were racially motivated.

Earlier on Feb 9, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith promised stern action against the attackers.

"if any of these attacks have been racist in nature -- and it seems clear that some of them have -- they will be punished with the full force of law," he said.

OneIndia News

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