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See Indian attacks in context: Australian PM

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today said attacks on Indians should be seen in context of "the broader incidences of violence to students of other ethnic backgrounds, acts of violence against Australian students".

india Updated: Jan 21, 2010 13:23 IST

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Thursday said attacks on Indians should be seen in context of "the broader incidences of violence to students of other ethnic backgrounds, acts of violence against Australian students".

Rudd told reporters in Adelaide: "Regrettably, there have been some incidents recently, let's accept that, but let's put it into context, and also in the context of, let's call it, the broader incidences of violence to students of other ethnic backgrounds, acts of violence against Australian students, acts of violence in particular parts of our large cities at any given time of the day.

"I think it's important to keep all this into its context."

New Delhi warned on Wednesday that people-to-people ties with Australia may be "adversely affected" if the violence against Indians in Australia did not halt now.

Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said that he was "deeply anguished" over the assault on an Indian taxi driver in Melbourne's northern parts on Saturday.

"Unless there is immediate stop to the attacks, our people-to-people level exchanges, which include the area of education and tourism, will get adversely affected," the minister said.

Krishna urged Australia to bring the attackers to book and to put in place "effective security measures" that will increase the sense of well-being among Indians in that country.

Relations between India and Australia came under a strain following a string of attacks on Indians, including the fatal stabbing of Nitin Garg in Melbourne on Jan 2.

Rudd on Thursday appealed for the attacks to be kept in context.

"Obviously these are difficult matters in India, they are difficult matters in Australia," AAP quoted Rudd as saying.

"We are working through them in a practical and effective way over time."

He said some 100,000 Indians were currently studying in Australia.

"The truth is this: the vast majority of Indian students in Australia are embraced entirely by the Australian community, get on with their business of studying hard, getting their qualifications and going off to do whatever they want to do with their lives.

There has been a series of attacks on Indians in Australia with Indian taxi drivers being targeted in some of the recent incidents.

Three Indian taxi drivers were attacked in different Australian cities Jan 16. While a 25-year-old Indian taxi driver was assaulted in Melbourne, two Indian taxi drivers, one of whom was a student, were attacked in Australia's Ballarat city.

The attacks came a day after a man was sentenced to three months in jail for assaulting and threatening to kill another Indian taxi driver in Melbourne.

The spate of attacks on Indians in Australia has caused an outcry in India. Two of the vicious attacks proved fatal.