Indian students in Australia under stress after youth’s killing


Melbourne : The brutal killing of Nitin Garg in this Australian city has put Indian students under “pscyhological stress”, said a student’s body official who added that Indian students were fearful and confused.

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Garg, 21, an accounting graduate, was knifed in the suburb of West Footscray Saturday while on way to work. He staggered to Hungry Jack’s restaurant and pleaded for help before collapsing.

He was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where he died.

Amit Menghani, president of the Federation of Indian Students in Australia (FISA), said said Indian students were fearful, confused and undergoing “psychological stress” after the murder of Garg, who was fatally stabbed as he walked through Cruickshank Park on his way to work Saturday night.

“They don’t know whether to stay home or go to school, stay home from work … they are very worried,” The Age quoted Menghani as saying.

There had been a spate of attacks on Indians in Australia last year. Indian students have been set upon and viciously assaulted, causing an outcry in India.

Canberra had assured New Delhi over the safety of the students. About 115,000 Indians have studied in Australia in the last 12 months.

Australia’s higher education industry is worth $17.2 billion a year and is listed as the country’s fourth largest export earner.

Menghani said the parents of the students were also worried.

“They are asking themselves ‘Why are we paying so much money if we can’t get our children looked after? Are we paying for dead bodies? Are we paying for people who are not doing anything …(about the violence).”

He stated that the police hadn’t accepted the extent of the problem of violence against Indian students. “Who is taking responsibility for what is happening?” he wondered.

He claimed that senior officials were “very reluctant” to deal with his group. “It is a small issue for them, but it isn’t for Indian students.”

Menghani said calls to his organisation had increased in frequency in 2009, and had again spiked following the string of attacks over the last two years.