Crean maintained there was no evidence the attack 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.
"It's an unfortunate fact of life, but so far as the victim is concerned and his parents, our deepest sympathy for them and we're doing everything we can to track down the perpetrators."
Asked about Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna calling upon Australia to respond to the "uncivilised brutal attack on innocent Indians", Crean said he hoped "wiser heads will prevail", the newspaper reported.
Twenty one-year-old Nitin Garg was knifed in the suburb of West Footscray Saturday evening while on his way to work. He staggered to Hungry Jack's restaurant and pleaded for help before collapsing. He was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where he died.
India's external affairs ministry Tuesday issued an advisory asking Indians studying or working in Australia and those planning to do so to take extra security precautions while moving around in that country.
Alluding to a surge in incidents of assault and robbery targeting Indians in Australia, the ministry issued a list of dos and don'ts for Indians in that country. It includes not travelling alone at night and not carrying more cash than required.
Crean admitted there could be economic repercussions from publicity in India over recent attacks.
"We have been through this type of issue before … and from the prime minister down we have been talking with our Indian partners and reassuring them that this country doesn't condone nor do we believe that these are racially based attacks."
Acting Premier Rob Hulls called on the Indian government to show restraint in its response to the killing. "People should just show some restraint and allow the police to get on with the job of investigating this callous crime," he said.