Attacks on Indians in Australia 'racial outbursts'
The attacks on Indian students in Australia were "racial outbursts" by "anti-social elements", Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said here Saturday.
The minister said the Indian government was in touch with the Australian authorities and expressed confidence that "the situation will become normal" there.
He said there was no discrimination against Indians in Australia at the societal level. "These were attacks by anti-social elements as a racial outburst," Ravi told reporters as he cited the statement of Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that the country follows zero-tolerance of racial discrimination.
"With Australian police taking action, the situation will become normal," he said.
The string of assaults on Indian students in Australia has gone up to 16 since May 9 and have sparked protests in Melbourne and Sydney and hectic diplomatic activities between the two countries.
Ravi said a bill tightening immigration laws for Indians moving overseas by providing more powers to police would be finalised soon after consultations with stakeholders, including the law ministry.
The draft of the bill is being vetted by the law ministry and will be discussed by all other ministries before being tabled in parliament and passed into law.
The bill, he said, contains penal provisions against unscrupulous travel agents and will give more powers to police to take action against them.
Asked about a group of Malayalis stranded in Russia due a job fraud, he said they will be brought to India soon.