Australia today asked India not to whip up “hysteria” over a young expatriate’s murder here saying such incidents occur everywhere including in Mumbai, London and New York and claimed it remained “safe” for foreign students, amid India’s warning to its citizens to be cautious in this country.
There was no evidence to suggest that the attack on 21-year-old Nitin Garg, a student who was fatally stabbed in the abdomen on Sunday, was racially-motivated, acting Foreign Minister Simon Crean said, adding it was one of a spate of stabbings in Melbourne over the Christmas period.
“It so happens that one of the victims is Indian. Melbourne is not the only city in the world where this happens. It also happens in Delhi and in Mumbai,” Mr. Crean was quoted as saying by ‘The Age’
About comments by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna who termed the killing of Garg as a “brutal attack”, Mr. Crean said he hoped “wiser heads will prevail.”
Mr. Krishna had also warned that such incidents could have a bearing on bilateral ties.
The report said Mr. Crean asked Indian leaders not to fuel hysteria over the issue, while conceding that there could be economic repercussions of the issue.
Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, meanwhile, insisted that her country is safe for all international students and said “acts of violence” occur in big cities around the world.
Her comments came in the wake of India issuing a travel advisory for Australia.
India yesterday asked its citizens studying or planning to pursue education in Australia to take certain basic precautions to ensure their safety.
Gillard said the travel warning was a matter for the Indian government and that Australia would continue to welcome students from that country.
“In big cities around the world we do see acts of violence from time to time; that happens in Melbourne, it happens in Mumbai, it happens in New York, it happens in London,” she was quoted as saying by ABC news.
“Any individual act of violence is obviously to be deeply regretted and our sympathies go to anyone who is harmed by an act of violence” the minister said.
Acting Premier of Victoria, Rob Hulls, also maintained that the state is a friendly place to study.
“Whilst warnings are entirely a matter for the Indian government, everyone needs to realise that Melbourne is a welcoming, open place that certainly welcomes Indian students and students from all around the world,” he said.
He also called on the Indian government to show restraint in its response to the killing. “People should just show some restraint and allow the police to get on with the job of investigating this callous crime,” he said.
Days after Garg was stabbed to death here, Australian police yesterday said that a partially-charred body of another youth from India was found in New South Wales.