Parents term Nitin's killing 'racially motivated'

The family members allege that Nitin’s friends had told them from Australia that he had no animosity towards anyone. The 21-year-old boy who had returned from his homeland to Australia only last fortnight was brutally stabbed in a Melbourne suburb on Saturday night. He died in hospital later.

“We firmly believe that my son was the victim of a race attack,” said the victim’s mother, Parveen Garg. “Whatever the Australian authorities say, it is quite clear that Nitin was victim of recent spurt in attacks against Indian students in Australia,” she added.

The family members confirmed that Nitin’s friends from Australia had told them that he had been a regular at the social networking site, Facebook where he had condemned the “hate groups” which raved about race attacks on Indians. While several students of Indian origin were attacked and were injured in sporadic race attacks in Australia, Nitin is the first victim to be killed. Among the nearly one lakh Indian students in Australia, Punjabis constitute a sizeable majority.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has sought immediate intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh into the incident.

In a statement, Badal urged the prime minister to ensure the safety and security of the Punjabi youths in Australia who had gone there to pursue higher education and other vocations.

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