Indian envoy called to discuss Australia attacksFebruary 3rd, 2010 - 10:36 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 3 (IANS) The government has called its envoy to Australia Sujatha Singh to New Delhi for detailed consultations in the wake of repeated attacks on Indian students in Australia.
High Commissioner Sujatha Singh will be here from Feb 10 to brief External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao on the security of Indian students and the steps taken by the Australian authorities in this regard.
There will be detailed discussions over security and other issues, official sources said.
Giving vent to growing frustration in India over Australia’s failure to check attacks on Indian students, Krishna Monday asked Canberra to do some introspection to ensure that these attacks are stopped forthwith. Indian students and taxi-drivers are being singled out in that country, he stressed.
Krishna met his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith twice in London last week and sought assurances about the safety of Indian students. Smith assured Krishna that a high-level working group would be set up by the federal government and the government of Victoria state to study the attacks on Indians.
Canberra has repeatedly denied any racist angle to these attacks.
Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese on Wednesday said the charging of an Indian national in Melbourne for making a false allegation of racism “again demonstrated how wrong initial media reports” could be.
“Australia has zero tolerance for violence and zero tolerance for racism. Both are reflected in Australian law, and in the penalties the courts are handing out,” he said in a statement here.
His comments came after the Australian police said a man of Indian descent who claimed he was doused in petrol and set alight last month was not the victim of a racist attack but injured himself while setting his car alight in a failed attempt at claiming insurance money.
Australian police have downplayed racial motives in the attacks, saying street crime disproportionately affects the 90,000 Indian students studying in Australia.
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