Australia Foreign Minister assures India on preventing attacks on Indian students

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London, Jan 27 (ANI): Indian External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna on Wednesday said that his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith has assured him that Australia will take concrete and preventive action to "contain" the string of attacks reported on Indian citizens Down Under.nteracting with media ahead of Thursday's conference on Afghanistan here, Krishna said: "I talked to Mr. Stephen Smith, we have drawn their (the Australian Government's) attention to the recent attacks on Indian students."

He also said that the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, had spoken with his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd on the issue, and categorically expressed is concern over this unwarranted violence on Indians, mostly students.

The statement assumes significance, as Australia's education industry nets its government a revenue of 15 million dollars annually.

"We expect the Australian Government, the Victorian and the New South Wales Governments to contain the situation," he added.

He also said that he is looking forward to the results of the investigations being carried out by the Australian authorities.

"I am very happy that the Australian Government, provincial Government of Victoria have taken our concern seriously at a high level and a high level working group has been set up. They would comprehensively study the reported incidents," Krishna said.

"I have been assured by the Foreign Minister of Australia that as soon as this high level working group completes its investigations, they would apprise the Government of India," he added.

He further revealed that community policing has been stepped up and patrolling has been increased in Australia.

Krishna has repeatedly raise the issue of violence against Indian students in Australia and officially condemned the attacks as "brutal". He warned on several occasions that the attacks were creating 'deep anger' in India, and could have an adverse bearing on bilateral ties.

The attacks over the past 18 months, including the fatal stabbing of a 21-year-old Indian graduate this month, have strained ties between the two countries.

Nitin Garg was stabbed to death at West Foorscray, a suburb of Melbourne by some goons on the night of January 2, while he was on his way to work.

The attacks have continued unabated. A number of Indians, including taxi drivers have been assaulted. These attacks have been described as "opportunistic" and "not racially motivated" by the Australian police.

The attacks against Indians, including students in 2009, mainly in Melbourne, has led to violent protests and strained bilateral ties, prompting Australia's Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Education and Social Inclusion and Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard and other Australian ministers to visit India at regular intervals to assure the Indian Government that steps are being taken to stop such attacks. (ANI)

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