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3rd Indian killed; police rule out race again

Australia on Sunday said the attack on 29-year-old Jaspreet Singh was not “racially-motivated”, amid reports that two Indian seasonal workers attempting to leave the country were quizzed and had their passports seized over the killing of another Indian youth in New South Wales.

world Updated: Jan 11, 2010 01:30 IST

Australia on Sunday said the attack on 29-year-old Jaspreet Singh was not “racially-motivated”, amid reports that two Indian seasonal workers attempting to leave the country were quizzed and had their passports seized over the killing of another Indian youth in New South Wales.

Police said the strange circumstances surrounding the attack on Singh, who was set on fire by a group of four men in suburb of Essendon in northwest Melbourne on Saturday led them to believe that it was not racially-motivated.

Detective acting senior sergeant Neil Smyth said police have a general description of who the offenders could be.

The two people who passports were seized were being quizzed about 25-year-old Ranjodh Singh, whose partially-burnt body was found recently. Detectives believe Ranjodh Singh, a seasonal work contractor, may have been murdered in a fight over unpaid wages at a Christmas party two days before his killing.

On the diplomatic front, Australia’s government on Sunday welcomed a call from India for restraint in media coverage of attacks on Indians, stressing there was no evidence that race was a factor in two recent incidents.

New Delhi urged its media to act responsibly after an Indian man was burned in an incident in Melbourne on Saturday, a week after 21-year-old Nitin Garg was stabbed to death in the city’s western suburbs.