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'Australia's image in India hit after attacks'

January 10, 2010 14:05 IST

Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese has admitted that his country's image in India has been hit following the recent attacks of Indians Down Under but felt that relations between the two governments were strong.

"I certainly accept that our image in India has taken a beating. I don't think that if you go through the intensity of the negative media coverage in India and not take a damage," he told Karan Thapar on Devil's Advocate programme on CNN-IBN.

He said if the perception in India being conveyed was that Australia was an unsafe country that would surely do the damage. "It worries me," he said.

Varghese said the Australian government had taken a series of steps including increase in police patrolling, doubling the size of anti-robbery squads and changes in legislation to deal with incidents of urban crime.

He insisted that the attacks were "urban opportunistic urban crime" and not racist in nature.

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