‘Oz attacks to hurt people-to-people contact’

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 23:03

New Delhi: Talking tough, India on Wednesday asked
Australia to put in more effective security measures to check
the attacks on Indians there, failing which it said the
people-to-people exchanges which includes those going for
education and tourism will get "adversely" affected.

Expressing deep "anguish" over the spate of attacks
against Indians, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said
the matter has once again been taken up with the Australian
government.

Referring to his recent telephonic conversation with his
Australian counterpart Stephen Smith, Krishna said, "I had
emphasised the need for immediate corrective measures and for
a sense of urgency in dealing with the ongoing investigation."

"Unless there is an immediate stop to all such attacks,
our people-to-people level exchanges, which includes education
and tourism, will get adversely affected," he said.

Refusing to directly comment on the comments of a former
Australian security official over the nature of these attacks,
the minister said, "India takes note of that remark" but it was
up to Australia to find out the "real motives" and underlining
causes for such attacks.

He said Australia needs to take a view on whether these
are racially motivated attacks or "opportunistic urban crimes"
as the government there has been describing them.

Australia`s former defence chief general Peter Cosgrove
has said, "Attacks recently by groups of people on individuals
look like a profiling approach to people from the
sub-continent... Rather than say `nothing to worry about`, I`d
rather look more closely. If you didn`t suspect a racial
strand you`d be mad."

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 23:03

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