Avoid Australia for now, follow advisory: India (Lead)January 29th, 2010 - 6:28 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 29 (IANS) Indian students are advised against visiting Australia for the moment, Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur said Friday as the body of Ranjodh Singh, an Indian killed in New South Wales was flown into Delhi.
The Australian envoy, however, stressed that the attack on Ranjodh Singh was not racist.
“We are doing all that we can. An advisory has been issued not to visit Australia…,” Preneet Kaur told reporters, reiterating that Indian students should stay away from Australia.
“We are pressurising the Australian government to find the reasons behind the attacks, why have they happened and how they have happened. The reasons behind them (attacks) should be investigated.”
Amid speculation in the media about a second advisory, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said the minister was referring to an advisory issued by the ministry on June 12, 2009, spelling out dos and don’ts for students planning to go to Australia for further studies.
“The advisory encourages the students to conduct due diligence and carefully apprise themselves of the ground realities including suitability of the institution in question, costs involved and consular procedures,” he said.
Preneet’s Kaur’s strong words advising Indians to avoid visiting Australia came a day after fresh assaults on four Indians in two separate incidents in Australia.
Ranjodh Singh was set alight and left to die in the New South Wales farming town of Griffith. His charred body was found in December last year.
Three Indians — including Gurpreet Singh, 23 and his wife Harpreet Bhullar, 20 — were arrested Thursday for Ranjodh Singh’s brutal killing.
A third suspect, a 25-year-old man, was arrested in Wagga Wagga, where Ranjodh Singh was living. Ranjodh Singh arrived a year ago in Australia and was working in the same harvesting business as the couple charged with his murder.
As New Delhi took a strong stand over the spate of vicious assaults on its nationals, Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese Friday welcomed the arrests of the three Indians and said the investigation showed the attack was not racist.
“The arrests underlined the importance of allowing investigations to run their course and not to jump to conclusions based on initial reports. The identity of those arrested (all three are Indian nationals), as well as the conclusions reached by the investigation, clearly showed that racism had not been a factor,” said Varghese in a statement.
Varghese said the case had been widely reported in the Indian media as a racist attack and he hoped that the record would be set straight.
According to Preneet Kaur: “I think they (Australians) are open now to investigation taking place because of the meeting between foreign minister S.M. Krishna and his counterpart in London.”
“The first meeting of the joint working group will be over the weekend in the state of Victoria. The attacks on taxi drivers are also something not really acceptable to us Indians and the Indian government.”
Krishna conveyed to his counterpart Stephen Smith in London on the sidelines of a conference on Afghanistan concerns about the attacks on Indian students continuing unabated despite high-level assurances.
Sources said Krishna had told Smith Wednesday that the incidents of violence against Indians had resulted in public resentment and the attacks, if left unaddressed, could cast a shadow on bilateral relations.
The government had earlier this month issued an advisory warning students heading to Australia for studies and those already in the country.
There have been demonstrations in Australia, home to the bulk of over 100,000 Indians studying in Australia, after Nitin Garg, a 21-year-old accounting graduate, was fatally stabbed while walking to his job at a fast-food restaurant on Jan 2.
Students and taxi drivers of Indian origin have found themselves being targeted in both Melbourne and Sydney, sparking allegations of widespread racism in Australian society and a failure by the law enforcement authorities to act.
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- India airs 'absolute displeasure' over Australia attacks - Jan 15, 2010
- Indian envoy called to discuss Australia attacks - Feb 03, 2010
- 'Australia taking stern action against miscreants involved in attacks on Indians': Verghese - Feb 03, 2010
- Aussie envoy flays Indian media over 'race' attacks - Feb 03, 2010
- Don't cry racism for every attack, says Australia (Lead) - Feb 03, 2010
- India dismayed over fresh attacks in Australia - Jan 28, 2010
- Man accused of killing Indian in Australia cleared of charge - Aug 02, 2012
- Dismayed by attacks, Krishna meets Smith second time (Lead) - Jan 29, 2010
- Thousands flee flood-hit Australian city - Mar 04, 2012
- Indian students will be safe, Aussie PM says - Jun 20, 2012
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