Kochi: The government has taken a serious
view of the safety of its citizens in Australia and even a
single person being hurt was of "great concern" to it,
Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor said
"It is their responsibility, but we have left them in no
doubt about the seriousness with which we view the safety of
our citizens in their country`, he told reporters here.
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has met the
Australian Prime Minister and all relevant Cabinet members
there and discussed safety of the Indian students, he said.
"I think apparently it is in Australia`s own interest that
students should be safe, as education is the major industry in
that country, contributing 15 billion Australian dollars to
their economy," he added.
"If the widespread perception in India is that students are
not safe there, they will not be able to say with pride that
Australia has 90,000 Indian students there currently, which is
slightly larger than the number of Indian students in US,"
The minister, however, emphasised that ultimately law and
order in Australia was the responsibility of its government.
"I don`t think we can sit here and tell the Australians what
to do", he said, when asked about the increasing number of
attacks on Indian students.
Two students from Punjab and Madhya Pradesh were the latest
victims of attacks on Indians in Australia when they were
assaulted by a group of men in separate incidents.