Sushma says Milan attack on Indian student not racist

Sushma says Milan attack on Indian student not racist

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday spoke to one of the Indian students attacked recently at Milan in Italy and learnt that the assault was not racist in nature.

"Attack on Indian students in Italy - I have spoken to the concerned Indian student in Milan. He has told me that this was a case of robbery and not a racial attack," Sushma posted on Twitter.

Some Indian students at Milan in northern Italy were assaulted in a string of incidents, even as Prime Minister Narendra hosted his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni on Monday and the two leaders agreed to breathe fresh life into the bilateral relations between New Delhi and Rome.

The Consulate General of India in Milan on Monday issued an advisory for Indian students studying in the main city of Lombardy Region of Italy, asking them not to panic. The advisory was issued after the CGI received reports about some incidents of assaults on Indian students studying in academic institutions in Milan.

"The consulate has received reports of unfortunate incidents of attacks on the Indian students in Milan. All Indian students are urged not to panic. The consulate is taking up this matter with the highest level of law and order authorities in Milan," the CGI said in the advisory posted on Twitter. It was posted on the day Modi and Gentiloni agreed to add new momentum in bilateral ties, which were strained in the past few years since the arrest and trial of two Italian Navy personnel in connection with the Enrica Lexie case in February 2012.

The CGI did not mention in its advisory if the attacks on Indian students appeared to be racially motivated.

One of the incidents took place on October 17 and another on Sunday, sources said.

The CGI in Milan advised the Indian students in the city to be in touch with each other, especially when they go out, as well as with it. It also advised the students to spread information among other students from India about the areas where they had experienced "such incidents" so that such areas could be avoided or approached with greater caution by others.

The students also met Consul General of India Charanjeet Singh and reported the incidents.

"I appreciate @cgmilan1 for providing all help," tweeted Sushma, who earlier on Tuesday received a report from the CGI in Milan about the incidents.

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