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103 Indian casualties in Australia attacks: minister

world Updated: Aug 03, 2011 17:10 IST
AFP
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Some 103 Indians were killed or injured in attacks last year in Australia, Indian overseas minister Vyalar Ravi told parliament on Wednesday while conceding steps had been taken to prevent such assaults.

Diplomatic ties have been inflamed by violence in Australia, with India repeatedly blaming racism for the targeting of its citizens, many thousands of whom travel abroad to study each year.

Indian overseas minister Vyalar Ravi put last year's casualty figure at 103, but did not say how many people died or the circumstances in which the attacks took place.

"It has been conveyed to the Australian government that it was the responsibility of the Australian authorities to ensure the well being and security of all Indians in Australia," he told parliament's lower house.

In 2009, 52 Indians either lost their lives or were injured in Australia in such violence, while there were only 11 the previous year, Ravi said.

Australia last August launched a publicity drive warning overseas students about the dangers of "opportunistic crime" after the spate of attacks on Indians.

There are an estimated 6,50,000 international students from over 100 countries pursuing university or vocational studies in Australia, and the government has said it takes their safety seriously.

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