India has conveyed its concern to Australia over the safety of Indian students in that country.

The issue was raised by Indian High Commissioner Sujatha Singh when she met Australia’s Acting Foreign Secretary Ric Wells in Canberra on Wednesday.

Ms. Singh is understood to have expressed the hope that the perpetrators of the attacks on Indian students would be brought to justice. New Delhi would also like to know the motives behind these attacks.

The meeting acquired importance in the context of the killing of at least one Indian student in Melbourne in the New Year. This was a sequel to a series of violence against a number of Indian students in Australia last year.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Wednesday said: “We are a safe country, we are a welcoming country.”

At a press conference in Hobart, an official transcript of which was later released, Ms. Gillard said: “The Australian government has expressed its sympathy with the loss of a young man’s life recently in Melbourne. The police are now investigating that matter, and it is a matter best left to the police at this stage.”

She said India’s latest advisory on travel to Australia “is a matter for them.” However, “by world standards, we have a very low homicide rate,” she said. “In big cities around the world, we do see acts of violence from time to time,” she pointed out, citing Melbourne and Mumbai among others.

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