Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has promised to chastise the racial maniacs who assaulted Indian students. In the meanwhile, the police freed 18 Indian students detained following massive anti-racism protests.
Rudd told parliament in Canberra that he had talked to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and said Australians strongly deplored the string of attacks on Indians studying in the country.
The premier said that the state authorities had been instructed to bring the perpetrators of attack to justice.
“I speak on behalf of all Australians when I say that we deplore and condemn these attacks,” Rudd said.
“I said to (Manmohan) Singh that the more than 90,000 Indian students in Australia are welcome guests in our country … and the more than 200,000 Australians of Indian descent are welcome members of the Australian family.”
According to official figures, Indian students are 18 per cent of total overseas students who bring revenue of 2 billion Australian dollars to the economy.
Rudd said that Australia was a country of great diversity and tolerance and that is why these recent acts of violence are all the more deplorable.
In the meanwhile, the police freed 18 Indian students who were arrested failing to vacate the streets during the Melbourne protests. Student leaders accused the police of brutality.
Besides Rudd, Opposition Liberal Party leader Malcolm Turnbull also deplored the muggings and beatings.
“These students are guests in our country and this recent violent behaviour has the potential to do great damage to the reputation of Australia as a destination of choice,” he said.
“We could not imagine modern Australia today without the contribution of the Indian communities present among us.”