External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Monday asserted that the Australian government is “duty bound” to probe the fatal stabbing of a youth of Indian origin in Melbourne and bring the culprits to book. Such incidents would vitiate the atmosphere of trust and cordiality between the two countries he said.
“Unfortunate incidents like the Indian student killing (in Melbourne) case will only vitiate the atmosphere of trust, belief, the atmosphere of cordiality of the relationship,” he told reporters after paying a “courtesy” visit to Karnataka Governor H.R. Bharadwaj.
Krishna said whether it was a racist attack or motivated by something else “the fact... is that an Indian student has been murdered and the Australian government is duty bound to go for investigations and bring the culprit to book”.
Asked whether the incident would have a bearing on Indo-Australian ties, he said the bilateral relationship has so far been very strong and alluded to three high-level visits by the Australian political leadership to India and his own visit to that country last year. “These are all high-level visits meant to strengthen bilateral relationship between India and Australia,” he said.
On the follow-up action regarding the attack on 21-year-old Nitin Garg, Krishna said he had spoken to the Indian High Commissioner in Canberra on Monday morning, who has taken up the issue with the Australian government “in the strongest possible terms”.