Toddler's death: Aussie PM vows action

Toddler's death: Aussie PM vows action

"This is a really horrible story. I've seen the reports this morning, I heard about it late last night," Rudd said."The death of any little child causes everyone in this country to stop, pause, think, reflect. If this is a case of murder, there is nothing worse than the brutal murder of a little child. The authorities are investigating it and we have every confidence the authorities will get to the bottom of it," he was quoted by AAP as saying.

His comments came as police said the autopsy failed to determine the cause of death of three-year-old Gurshan Singh Channa, whose body was found on the side of a road in Melbourne's northern suburbs six hours after he disappeared from the family home yesterday.

Victoria's Deputy Police Commissioner Sir Ken Jones said: "There is no visible sign of the cause of death."He also said the boy's parents were being interrogated."... we're desperate for witnesses to come forward. We're pretty convinced there's people out there that may have seen something," he said, adding police had not yet determined if the boy's death was an opportunistic crime or something else."It's clear that this wasn't death from natural causes, but we don't yet have a 100 per cent conclusion on what the actual cause of death was."

Jones said the boy's body was found fully clothed in blue jeans and a grey top. But he said he could not say how he died. "We are not ruling anything in or anything out."
Prime Minister Rudd said Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, who was in India to discuss the bilateral relationship, had been informed of the death of the three-year-old child.
"... What I'm concerned about is this little boy, this little child. Let's get the facts around this ... Let's sort out this case, this person, this human tragedy first, and as for foreign policy (vis-a-vis India), let's deal with that in its due time," he said in response to a question.

Victorian Premier John Brumby, meanwhile, briefed Indian High Commissioner Sujatha Singh about the "deeply distressing" death of the toddler.Brumby told Singh that no stone would be left unturned in the investigation into the death.

The Premier said he was briefed about the matter last night, adding that he and his family found the case deeply distressing."Any death of a child is a terrible, terrible tragedy. The death of a child so young is a terrible, unthinkable tragedy," he said. "We hope this crime can be solved and resolved as soon as possible."

Brumby said it was important that people do not jump to conclusion about the death at this time. The Victorian Premier said he has been kept regularly briefed by police, who have decided to treat the case as a homicide.

"Every possible police resource is being devoted," Brumby said. "There are no visible signs of the cause of death at this stage ... but I think it's very important that no one jumps to conclusions."

"The most important thing is that we find the cause of death and bring those responsible to justice and I can only repeat from the point of view of the government and the police force in Victoria, every single resource is being devoted to this effort."

Gurshan was in Australia on a holiday with his family and was due to return to India later this week. His body was found by a council worker in long grass around 30 kms away from his residence.

The toddler's mother Harpreet Kaur, who was studying in Australia, rang police after he had been missing for 45 minutes, prompting a massive search involving more than 15 police units, the dog squad and air wing.

The family had arrived in Australia from India on January 9, planning to stay. However, they decided to leave next week as the father could not get work.Members of the Indian community have expressed shock over the death of the toddler.

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