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Another Indian's body found in Australia

world Updated: Jan 05, 2010 14:15 IST

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A second incident of a possible fatal attack on an Indian came to light today with a body found in southern Australia last week identified as that of an Indian, even as officials from both countries prepare to meet to defuse the tension following the murder of a migrant in Melbourne.

A partially-burnt body found last week in Australia's New South Wales province is believed to be of a 25-year old Indian national, police said today, in what might be the second fatality in a slew of vicious attacks on Indians.

The body found on a roadside near Griffith on December 29 is however yet to be formally identified and Australian officers are in touch with the man's family in India and the Indian Consulate to help with identification, the New South Wales Police Force said in a statement.

The incident was reported close on the heels of murder of Nitin Garg, a 21-year old Indian in Melbourne on Sunday -- the first Indian casualty in a series of attacks on the community in the country, that drew a sharp reaction from India.

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna "reminded" Australia of the economic fallout of such attacks as he asked the country to take strong action to punish the culprits.

Indian diplomats here are expected to meet Australian officials in a bid to defuse diplomatic tension between Canberra and New Delhi after the murder.

Indian High Commissioner in Canberra Sujatha Singh would be meeting Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials soon, V K Sharma, deputy high commissioner said.

Sharma said the meeting would probably be held soon, however no date or time has been decided.

Meanwhile, Australia said it will cooperate with the family of Garg and expedite the process of returning his body back home, terming any delay in the process as "unfortunate".

Acting Foreign Minister Simon Crean said: "We are going to try and cooperate with the family as expeditiously if we can to return the remains, the body, to his home".

Asked why it took almost two days, following Garg's murder, for government officials to contact his family in India, Crean said: "I think it's unfortunate if it did take that length of time".

Garg was brutally stabbed to death while he was walking to restaurant chain Hungary's Jack, where he worked part time.

A series of cases of attacks on Indians, particularly students in Australia, were reported last year straining bilateral ties.

An official document recently said that the incidents had led to a 20 per cent drop in enrolment of Indian students this year, causing substantial loss in revenue for Australia.

Australian officials have cautioned against immediately believing that a race angle was involved in the Garg's murder pending the investigation.

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard unreservedly condemned the attack stating: "We are an accepting, tolerant, multicultural nation".

Krishna had said attacks on Indians in Melbourne were causing "deep anger" and the latest killing, "certainly will have some bearing on bilateral ties".