Kevin Rudd pledges to get to the bottom of the “horrible” incident

Melbourne: Australian authorities were on Friday clueless about the unnatural death of an Indian toddler, who was on a holiday here with his family, as a concerned Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pledged to get to the bottom of the “horrible” incident.

“This is a really horrible story. I've seen the reports,” Mr. Rudd said.

“The death of any little child causes everyone in this country to stop, pause, think, reflect. If this is a case of murder, there is nothing worse than the brutal murder of a little child. The authorities are investigating it and we have every confidence the authorities will get to the bottom of it,” he was quoted by AAP as saying.

His comments came as police said the autopsy failed to determine the cause of death of three-year-old Gurshan Singh Channa, whose body was found on the side of a road in Melbourne's northern suburbs, six hours after he disappeared from the family home on Thursday.

Victoria's Deputy Police Commissioner Ken Jones said: “There is no visible sign of the cause of death.”

He also said the boy's parents were being interrogated.

“We're desperate for witnesses to come forward. We're pretty convinced there's people out there that may have seen something,” he said, adding the police had not yet determined if the boy's death was an opportunistic crime or something else.

“It's clear that this wasn't death from natural causes, but we don't yet have a 100 per cent conclusion on what the actual cause of death was.”

Mr. Jones said the boy's body was found fully clothed in blue jeans and a grey top. But he said he could not say how he died. “We are not ruling anything in or anything out.”

Mr. Rudd said Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, who was in India to discuss the bilateral relationship, had been informed of the death of the child.

“What I'm concerned about is this little boy, this little child. Let's get the facts around this. Let's sort out this case, this human tragedy first, and as for foreign policy [vis-a-vis India], let's deal with that in its due time,” he said in response to a question.

Victorian Premier John Brumby, meanwhile, briefed Indian High Commissioner Sujatha Singh about the “deeply distressing” death.

“The death of a child so young is a terrible, unthinkable tragedy,” he said. “We hope this crime can be solved and resolved as soon as possible.” — PTI

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