Attack on Indian in Australia a very serious matter: India | india | Hindustan Times
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Attack on Indian in Australia a very serious matter: India

india Updated: Oct 26, 2009 21:04 IST

India on Monday reacted strongly to yet another attack on Indians in Australia, terming it a "very serious matter" and said measures are needed for the community's safety there.

A Sikh was punched in his head by a group of Australians who also removed his turban while he was sleeping at a bus stop in Melbourne.

"Certainly, this matter of attack on people of Indian origin in Australia is a very serious matter and Government of India is very concerned over this matter", External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash told reporters in Bangalore.

"The matter has been taken up at the highest level with the Australian side", he said, adding "measures have to be taken to put an end to this".

Recalling that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had earlier this year spoken to his Australian counterpart and External Affairs Minister S M Krishna visited that country in August, Prakash said "we were assured that Australia follows the policy of zero tolerance".

He said measures had to be taken to "put an end to this (attacks)" but hastened to add that Australia had indeed initiated a number of steps like increasing police presence, patrolling and better lighting in some areas and having mechanisms to interact with Indian students.

Prakash noted there are 90,000 Indian students studying in hundreds of colleges in Australia where there was a quarter million of people of Indian origin. So, education and immigration agents are encouraging the process. The role of some of these agents have to "improve" and "this aspect is being looked into", he added.

Australia has said that by next year, it would audit all the educational institutions to improve "gaps" in the system, the spokesperson added.