The Government of India on Tuesday cautioned Indians about the perils of studying in Australia, saying that incidents of robbery and assault, particularly in Melbourne, had seen an increase in recent years. While not discouraging them from going to Australia, the government said the students should take precautions while moving around.

In a release, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), aimed at “Indian students planning to study in Australia,” said these incidents continued despite efforts by the local police. In particular, they were “occurring all over Melbourne without any discernable pattern or rationale behind them.”

The government acknowledged that the majority of Indian students studying in Australia, especially those enrolled in universities and reputable institutions, had a positive experience of living and studying in Australia. But incidents of assault as and robbery were on the rise in recent months. This had affected not only the Indian students but also members of the larger Indian community in that country.

The release dwelt on the “most recent incident of this kind” — the fatal stabbing of an Indian aged 21 years in Melbourne on January 2, as he was walking to his place of work late at night from a train station through a public park. In another incident, Australian authorities on Tuesday said a partially burnt body found in New South Wales was that of a 25-year-old Indian.

IANS reports:

The advisory says:

— If you are travelling alone, make sure that you have checked out your route carefully and that you keep to well-lit, populated areas as far as possible.

— Make sure that someone knows where you are going and at what time you are expected to return. Do not make it obvious that you are in possession of expensive items, such as iPods or laptops.

— Always carry some identification with you as well as details of who should be contacted in an emergency.

If in danger, dial 000 to get police help.