Krishna for stern action in Garg case

Australia duty bound to bring culprit to book

Krishna for stern action in Garg case

Nitin Garg.   AP “The Australian government is duty bound and morally bound to investigate and bring the culprit to book... That is the least it can do, and that is what we expect,” Krishna told reporters after meeting Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj in Bangalore on Monday.

The minister also said he had spoken to Sujatha Singh, the Indian High Commissioner in Canberra, on Monday. She has taken up the issue with the Australian government in the strongest possible terms.

Garg, 21, an accounting graduate, was knifed in West Footscray on Saturday while he was on his way to work. He hailed from Punjab.

On the version of the Australian police that the attack on Garg was not racist, the minister said: “The fact of the matter is that an Indian student has been murdered, and the culprit should be brought to book.”

Krishna added that such unfortunate incidents would only vitiate the atmosphere of trust and cordiality between the two countries.

 Australian leaders on Monday strongly condemned the fatal stabbing of the Indian student.  Canberra, however, insisted it was too early to conclude it was a racist attack—an issue that has generated much heat in India.

“I unreservedly condemn this attack. This is a nation that welcomes international students,” said Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Following the attack, Garg staggered to Hungry Jack’s restaurant, where he worked part time, and begged for help before collapsing.

He was rushed to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where he died, the first casualty in a spate of attacks on Indians that started in June last year.

Garg’s housemate Sandeep disclosed he had been beaten and threatened with a knife by a gang at Newport train station just over a year ago.

Sandeep said a cousin was on his way from India to take home Garg’s body.
Gautam Gupta of the Federation of Indian Students of Australia in Melbourne said that there was a growing fear in the Indian community and it would escalate, whether the attack was racist or otherwise.

Acting Victorian Premier Rob Hulls on Monday said: “The tragic death of a young Indian lad is abhorrent. It is a heinous crime, and it is something that the police are putting all resources into investigating and finding the culprit. I don’t think anyone should jump to conclusions at this stage. I think it’s important that police be allowed to get on with the job of investigating this heinous crime.”

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