'Australia taking up several measures to check hate crimes' | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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'Australia taking up several measures to check hate crimes'

chandigarh Updated: Feb 22, 2010 21:38 IST

Australia is viewing the racial attacks against Indian students "seriously" and has initiated several measures like strengthening of the legal system and increasing police resources to address the problem, a top diplomat said today.

"The Government has increased police resources, brought legislation to give police greater powers and strengthened the legal system to impose higher penalty for hate crimes," Peter Varghese, Australian High Commissioner to India, told reporters here.

"The racial attacks against Indians are a serious concern to the Australian Government," he said, adding the Government has set up a resource centre for assisting students.

Varghese said many perpetrators of such attacks were arrested and prosecuted. "Already 70 arrests were made in connection with the attacks on Indian nationals."

The Australian Government has also toughened the criteria for registeration of private education institutions and their performances are constantly being monitered, he said.

The High Commissioner stressed the need for better briefings to Indian students before travelling to Australia.

"It's unfortunate that some prospective students are given false information by agents," he said, adding a website has been launched by the Immigration department to ensure that correct information is available to such students.

He said there is no guarantee that the student course will lead to permanent residency in Australia.