Indian student raped, murdered in Australia, Krishna calls it unfortunate (Lead)

March 14th, 2011 - 6:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney/New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) A 24-year-old Indian student was raped and murdered and her body found stuffed in a suitcase in Australia’s Sydney city last week. Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Monday described the incident as “unfortunate” and said New Delhi was closely following the probe.

“This is a very very unfortunate incident. We are getting a report from our ambassador,” Krishna said. “We are closely following and monitoring the investigation.”

Tosha Thakkar, a student of Sydney College of Business and IT, was raped and murdered and her body was found stuffed inside a suitcase in a canal in Sydney last week.

There has been a string of attacks on Indians in Australia during the past two years, sparking an outrage in India. One of the attacks proved fatal when Nitin Garg was killed in Melbourne in January last year.

Australian Police have arrested 19-year-old Daniel Stani-Reginald and charged him for murder and aggravated sexual assault on Thakkar.

Police said the “predator” had waited until her housemate was away to sexually assault and kill her.

Her body was found Friday morning in a canal behind the Meadowbank Park in northwestern Sydney. It had been stuffed into a large, black, cloth suitcase, The Age reported.

The case was mentioned briefly in the Burwood Local Court Monday.

Stani-Reginald, an Australian of Sri Lankan descent, is alleged to have murdered Thakkar last Wednesday. He was arrested Friday night and charged over Thakkar’s murder, the newspaper said.

About 20 friends and family members of Thakkar, who had been living in Australia to study accounting, turned up at the court, according to The Age.

“We are very upset, of course, and are just waiting to get justice ASAP. She was very nice, the type that got along with everybody and she didn’t deserve this, such a painful death,” The Age quoted a friend as saying outside the court.

Detective Chief Inspector Pamela Young said Thakkar was a respectful young woman and did not deserve this at all.

Young said Thakkar’s parents had not yet made plans to come to Australia and police hoped to return her body to India for a proper Hindu funeral service.

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