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Pattern to attacks against Indians: foreign secretary
NEW DELHI, JAN 17 (IANS):
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Published on 18 Jan. 2010 12:15 AM IST
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Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has expressed concern that only Indians were being targeted in a wave of violence in Australia and said she believed there was a “certain pattern of these attacks”. “You have had one community targeted. You have had persons belonging to one community targeted. And these attacks have kept occurring. There has been a certain pattern of these attacks,” Rao told Karan Thapar in ‘The Devil’s Advocate’ programme aired on CNN-IBN Sunday night. “What the Australians tell us is that you could attribute this to urban violence, opportunistic violence, but that racism could also be an element in this. So, let us see. The investigations are going on. But we are concerned that it is just this one community that has been targeted.” There have been a string of attacks on Indians in Australia, causing an outcry in India and forcing the government to issue an advisory to students studying Down Under. Two attacks proved fatal. The body of Ranjodh Singh, an Indian-born seasonal work contractor, was found Dec 29. Then, accountancy graduate Nitin Garg was fatally stabbed in Melbourne Jan 2. An Indian was also set on fire in Melbourne Jan 9 while another Indian was assaulted at Coogee beach in Sydney Jan 11. The foreign secretary said the Australian Government had been sensitised to India’s concerns and had impressed upon them that they needed to do more to address the cause and bring the perpetrators to book to restore the climate of confidence and security among Indians living in Australia. “We have been in close touch with the Australian Government since these attacks began. And unfortunately there has been a spate of these attacks, violence directed against innocent and hapless,” she said. On the role of the media while covering the violent attacks, Rao said the press should keep things in context. “Let me say that the media feels the pulse of the people definitely and the people of India are concerned about the attacks that have happened in Australia. Having said that, I would also like to add that you have to place every reaction you make in the larger context,” she said. “And there is a very large number of Indians who live in Australia, who made Australia their home over the decades. And you must ensure that while you must report without fear or favour, your responses, your assessments have to be calibrated and measured to the extent possible.”

 
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