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India demands stern action against Melbourne racial attack culprits

September 16, 2009 17:04 IST

The Indian government on Wednesday called on the Australian government to take stern action against the perpetrators of alleged racial assaults on Indians in Melbourne, Victoria.

External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said in a statement that the matter of the recurring attacks on Indians in Australia had been taken up with Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith by Indian High Commissioner Sujatha Singh.

"As we take note of the assurances given, including from the highest levels of the government and provincial authorities of Australia, it is our earnest hope that the concerned authorities would take all necessary steps towards the safety and security of Indians in that country," said Prakash.

"The Indian consul general in Melbourne is in contact with authorities in Victoria, including the police authorities," he added.

"We hope that the latest incident is investigated with care and the culprits are dealt with, according to the laws of the land. It would also help, if various measures being contemplated by the Australian side, in addition to those already announced, are put in place at the earliest, to prevent reoccurrence of such incidents in the future," Prakash said.

Officials of the consulate general of India in Melbourne are also in touch with the families of the victims.

Two Indian nationals and two other people of Indian origin were assaulted by a group of individuals at Melbourne late in the evening on September 12.

One of the Indian nationals, Sukhdip Singh sustained serious injuries and is presently undergoing treatment.

"We are informed that the police arrested four individuals who have since been released pending further investigations," Prakash said.
Source: ANI