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Attack on Indian students: Time to issue advisory on Australia

NEW DELHI: As the spate of attacks against Indian students continued in Australia, India increased pressure on Australia to ensure the safety of
Indians protest
Indian students studying in different parts of the country and warned that the attacks could have an adverse effect on that country’s education sector.

At the same time Prime Minister Manmohan Singh raising the issue in a telephonic conversation with his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd who had called to offer his congratulations on a second term. Mr Rudd assured the Prime Minister that action was being taken.

“Prime Minister Rudd said that the overwhelming majority of Indian students were safe and that he took the issue of the security of all foreign students in Australia very seriously. He said that he was appalled by the attacks and that the concerned authorities would work to bring the perpetrators to justice,’’ a PMO release said.

In a similar vein Australian foreign minister Stephen Smith called up external affairs minister SM Krishna and assured him that steps were being taken to not only protect students but also to arrest the culprits behind the attacks. As news of yet another attack came in, New Delhi conveyed its concern to Canberra at the highest levels both in Australia and India. The ministry of external affairs on Friday called in Australian ambassador to India John McCarthy to convey India’s “deep anguish and continuing concern’’ about the attacks and to push the Kevin Rudd government to take steps for the security of students.

“It was conveyed to the Australian High Commissioner that, continuing sense of unease and insecurity, for Indian students in Australia, can have an adverse effect, in a sector that holds much promise,’’ said a statement by MEA official spokesperson Vishnu Prakash. Mr McCarthy apprised MEA secretary N. Ravi of the steps taken by the authorites for the security of students.

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