Worried about attacks, India summons Australian envoy

McCarthy was called by Secretary (East) in the MEA N Ravi to convey India's concerns, responding to which the Australian envoy said his government is taking steps to stop such incidents.

"We are worried about the safety of Indian citizens, particularly the students," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told reporters.

He said the Indian government is in constant touch with Australian authorities "with a view to addressing issues concerning the well-being and physical safety of our students."

Krishna's comments and summoning of the Australian envoy came after attacks on Indian students in Melbourne over the last few days. One of the students is battling for life in a hospital in Melbourne after being stabbed by a screwdriver by a group of teens.

"I was asked to come to the Ministry of External Affairs to discuss the recent attacks on Indian students in Australia. Mr Ravi conveyed Indian concerns very clearly and urged that we take steps to ensure that these sorts of incidents do not occur," McCarthy said after his meeting at MEA.

McCarthy condemned the attacks on Indian students and noted that similar statements had been made by several senior leaders in Australia.

He termed the attacks as "criminal activity" and there was no evidence to suggest that the assaults were racist.

"My own view is that it was a clear criminal activity. I have not seen the evidence of (it being) racist," McCarthy said.

He said Australia has been taking a number of measures to "diminish" the prospects of such attacks taking place in the future.

McCarthy said his discussion officials in the ministry of External Affairs had with him was "absolutely justified" and he would convey those views to authorities in Australia.

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