Independent inquiry into Indians attacks required: Oz security experts

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Melbourne, Feb 18(ANI): International security experts in Australia have said an independent inquiry into attacks on Indian citizens and students would show that the Australian Government is serious about the issue.

Rory Medcalf, the program director for international security at the Lowy Institute, and Fergus Hanson, a research fellow at the institute, said it is bewildering that a clear picture of the problem still has not emerged and that the government has failed to terminate the problem.

"It has been nine months since the crimes against Indian students in Australia first hit the headlines. They haven't stopped and continue to have a huge adverse influence on our relationship with our fourth largest export market and second largest source of international students," Medcalf and Hanson wrote in article for the Australian.

"It's more than time an independent committee was allowed to set the record straight, even if it is an unpleasant one," they added.

Into this knowledge void has leapt the Indian media, with saturation coverage and blanket allegations that the attacks have been overwhelmingly racist in nature.

Medcalf and Hanson further said though the reporting of the attacks may be inflammatory, unfair and downright wrong, but the bottom line is that the Australian authorities have failed to provide comprehensive data to prove the issue one way or another.

"They must clear the air or suspicion and scaremongering will linger, and the Kevin Rudd-Stephen Smith mantra of taking India to the front rank of Australia's foreign relationships will be meaningless," they said.

"Australia's reputation in India has been damaged, to the great disappointment of those who have toiled to build it up in the past decade. It is one of the great public relations disasters in recent diplomatic history," they added. (ANI)

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