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Aus says India fuelling hysteria over attacks

CNN-IBN
Jan 07, 2010 at 03:12pm IST

Melbourne: The Australian government, reacting to the travel advisory issued by Ministry of External Affairs to Indians living in and planning to visit Australia, has said that Indian leaders have been fuelling hysteria over safety.

Australia's acting Foreign Minister Simon Crean on Wednesday said there has been no evidence to show that attacks on Indians have been racially motivated.

ALSO SEE India issues travel advisory for Australia

"Indian leaders should avoid fuelling hysteria, Melbourne is safe for visitors," said Crean.

"Even over the Christmas period there has been a spate of stabbings. This unfortunately is a violent threat and a violent tendency that has emerged. It so happens that one of the victims is Indian. There have been other victims. Australia and Melbourne is not the only city in the world in which this happens. It also happens in Delhi, it happens in Mumbai, and it is the responsibility of all law enforcement authorities to get on top of those issues," said Crean.

ALSO SEE Indian's partially burnt body found in Australia

Even Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard defended the security situation in her country while responding to the Indian travel advisory.

Gillard claimed violence was common worldwide and maintained that Australia has always been a safe country.

ALSO SEE Help me, I'm dying, cried fatally-stabbed Indian

In big cities around the world we do see acts of violence from time to time; that happens in Melbourne, it happens in Mumbai, it happens in New York, it happens in London," Gillard told The ABC.

But later on Wednesday Australian High Commissioner to Insdia Peter Varghese claimed that the word "hysterical" was never used and accused Indian media of playing up the issue.

"Australia will not tolerate racial attacks. It is not realistic to completely finish the crime rate. Indian media has acted like a beast in the case. Some have been very balanced but some have exaggerated (the issue)," Varghese said in New Delhi.

Australian authorities claimed that there is still no evidence that the attack on Nitin Garg, who was stabbed to death in Melbourne on the night of January 2, was racially motivated.

They say Australia is a safe place for international students and migrants.

The eight-point travel advisory issued by Indian government says Indians should avoid going out in the night and report "complaints" to Indian diplomatic missions in Australia.

The advisory was issued even as Australian police confirmed that the burnt body found in New South Wales on January 1 is of Ranjot Singh from Patiala.

The 25-year-old Singh is the second Indian found murdered in Australia in the past few days. Nitin Garg, a 21-year-old student, was stabbed to death on his way to work in Melbourne.

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