Student attacks: Oz assures India of action against culprits

Student attacks: Oz assures India of action against culprits

During his meeting with New South Wales (NSW) Premier Nathan Rees, Krishna, who is on a five-day visit to Australia, was assured that firm action will be taken against the perpetrators.

Rees also assured Krishna that inputs from the Indian community will be included in the action plan for international students.

He informed the minister that a meeting of the task force on the issue was to be held tomorrow.

The External Affairs Minister, who met the Indian community representatives to get first-hand information about the problems faced by them, said that "well being and safety of Indians overseas is a top priority for the government of India."

The Indian community leaders emphasised that the immediate action by Australian government in every case was necessary and asked Krishna to tell authorities of this country to be more cooperative.

They, however, also admitted during the meeting that Australia was not a racist country.

During their meeting with Krishna, the students demanded that an emergency fund should be created for refunding of the fees in case of closure of colleges.
The students also complained of exploitation by unscrupulous agents, who take fees in advance.

The minister said advertisements in India about the colleges here should be certified by consulates to prevent wrong information from being circulated among the prospective students.

"Students should be given what they are promised of as they take loans to come to Australia to study. We need to reassure our students as well as their anxious parents in India on this account," Krishna said.

The External Affairs Minister also met NSW Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull, police commissioner and immigration officials.

Krishna is scheduled to visit Melbourne as well and meet Indian community representatives there.

He will also hold talks with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his counterpart Stephen Smith during his visit.

Raj Dutta, a Sydney-based Indian community leader who attended the meeting with Krishna, told PTI that it was a fruitful and productive meeting.

Krishna gave opportunity to everyone to put their views, he said.

Concessional tickets for Indian students, budgetary issues and providing information to youths before their arrival in Australia were discussed during the meeting.

A representative of the Federation of Indian Students in Australia (FISA) said that the Indian government should establish a single window student services centre across Australia.

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