India asks Australia to ensure security of Indian students


New Delhi : India on Friday clearly told Australia that it was their responsibility to ensure security and well-being of the Indian students.

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Taking a tough stand against the attacks on its students in Melbourne, S M Krishna, Minister of External Affairs (pictured), in a statement said he was ”appalled” by the attack on Indian students in Melbourne.

Meanwhile, Australian High Commissioner to India John McCarthy on Friday met officials of External Affairs ministry (MEA) in New Delhi.

McCarthy is understood to have discussed the issue of attacks on Indian students in Australia.

McCarthy’s meeting at the MEA comes just hours after the newly appointed Union External Affairs Minister SM Krishna had spoken to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to discuss the issue.

The meeting assumes importance in the backdrop of recent attacks on Indian students, the most serious being the assault of Shravan Kumar, a 25-year-old student from Andhra Pradesh who is battling for life in a hospital in Melbourne after being stabbed by a screwdriver by a group of teens in a weekend attack that also left three of his friends injured.

On Thursday, an Indian student, Rajesh Kumar (25) suffered up to 30 per cent burns after a suspected petrol bomb was hurled at him in his home in Sydney.

Another student Baljinder Singh, stabbed by two attackers with a screwdriver early this week.

Coming out of the meeting at the MEA, High Commissioner McCarthy said that the Australian government was very concerned about these attacks.

Earlier, the Indian High Commissioner to Australia Sujata Singh was assertive, when speaking at a crowded press conference in Melbourne, after meeting premier of Victoria John Brumby and top police and educational officials of the province, said that there is a “racist element in some of the attacks” but many of them were “opportunistic”.

She also stressed the need for strong steps by the Australian government to prevent such incidents.

“The fact of the matter is that whatever the motive behind the attacks, they seem to be Indian students,” she said.

Observing that the Indian students are seen as “soft targets,” Singh said it has been made clear to the Australian government and police that they will have to come up with a solution to prevent such attacks.