Australian Deputy PM neglects Indian travel warning

12:42, January 06, 2010      

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Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said on Wednesday that Australia will continue to welcome Indian students despite a new travel warning from the Indian government.

A statement from India warned that robberies and assaults in Australia's Melbourne to the Indian travelers increased. So it urged Indian students to take extra security measures such as not traveling alone at night.

It was issued by New Delhi's Ministry of External Affairs in response to the killing of 21-year-old Indian graduate Nitin Garg, who was stabbed to death in Melbourne on Saturday night.

Gillard said the travel advisory is a matter for the Indian government but she stressed Australia is a safe country for all international students.

"In big cities around the world we do see acts of violence from time to time; that happens in Melbourne, it happens in Mumbai, it happens in New York, it happens in London," she said, adding "any individual act of violence is obviously to be deeply regretted and our sympathies go to anyone who is harmed by an act of violence."

The advisory singles out Melbourne as a street-crime hotspot and reveals acts of violence against Indians have often been accompanied by verbal abuse and fueled by alcohol and drugs.

It notes while most Indian students have had a positive experience in Australia, assaults and robberies have been on the rise, despite more efforts made by Victorian police.

Source: Xinhua
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