Partially burnt body of Indian found in Oz

MEA issues advisory to students as Australia downplays racial attacks

Partially burnt body of Indian found in Oz


People take part in a candle -light vigil in the western  suburbs of Melbourne. AFP

The report on Indian’s body comes days after a 21-year-old Indian, Nitin Garg, was stabbed to death in Australia.

Meanwhile, in New Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday issued an advisory to Indian students in Australia asking them to be extra cautious, even as racially motivated attacks against them continued unabated.

The body of the 25-year-old victim was found on a roadside near Griffith in New South Wales (NSW) on December 29, the Melbourne police said. The police are yet to name the man, but they are in touch with his family in India to help with identification.

Media reports said he could be the victim of a labour dispute as there “has been a rise in Indian students” working as contract labourers in western NSW and there are complaints that they are being exploited and underpaid.

Australian Acting Foreign Minister Simon Crean said there was no evidence to suggest that the attack on Nitin Garg, a student who was fatally stabbed in the abdomen on Sunday while on his way to his part-time job in a restaurant, was racially motivated.

“It so happens that one of the victims is Indian. Melbourne is not the only city in the world where this happens. It also happens in Delhi and in Mumbai,” Crean was quoted as saying by “The Age.” Crean said the Australian authorities would cooperate with the family of Garg and expedite the process of returning his body back home, terming any delay in the process “unfortunate.”

The MEA advisory has asked Indian students to avoid travelling alone late at night. If at all they have to travel at night, they should check out the route, besides keeping to well-lit, populated areas. They should neither carry more cash than what is required, nor should they make it obvious that they are in possession of expensive things.

It also directed the students to “always carry some identification with them as well as details of persons who should be contacted in an emergency.”

 If in danger, they should dial “000” to get police help. In case of a complaint, they should get in touch with the official responsible for the welfare of students in the High Commission or the nearest Consulate.

Incidentally, the ministry refrained from terming the attacks racially motivated. The advisory said a majority of Indian students studying in Australia, especially those enrolled in universities and reputable institutions, have a positive experience of living and studying in that country.

Dos and don’ts
*MEA caution issued due to robberies and assaults on Indians
*Indian students asked to avoid travelling alone at night
*Assailants suspected to be teenagers
*MEA refrains from terming the attacks racially motivated
*Australia will expedite the process of returning Garg’s body home

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