Australia Pledges to Punish Attackers Promptly

A day after an Australian was sentenced for racially abusing an Indian cabbie within 24 hours, Australia has expressed its determination to find and punish those involved in assaults against Indians, insisting that it would be wrong to jump to a conclusions about the motive of an attack before the police had completed their investigation, reported ‘Express buzz’.

After strong words of concern by Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur after attack on Cabbie, Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese came out with a statement, saying that 34 people had been arrested in Victoria province alone in cases involving Indians, said report.

He, however, didn’t specify the period during which these arrest took place after a spate of attacks began in May last.

“It is important not to jump to conclusions about the motives of an attack, or to take initial media reports as fact,” he was quoted as saying.

Australia has been insisting for long that not all attacks are racially-motivated.

Also, Varghese said that claims that the burnt body of Ranjodh Singh found in Griffith on December 29 was a racial attack should be treated with caution, adding that two Indians had in fact been detained by police in that case, said report.

“Similarly, it is far from certain that the reported burning of Jaspreet Singh in Melbourne on January 9 was an attack,’’ he was quoted as saying.

“In all these cases, it is important to let the investigation establish the facts and then allow the criminal justice system to reach a view on the motives and the appropriate punishment,’’ he was quoted as saying.

He said that stiff sentences had already been delivered in some cases. Three men found guilty of attacking Indian-born doctor Mukesh Haikerwal were sentenced in November to jail terms ranging between nine and eighteen and a half years, said report.

The police were investigating the death of Nitin Garg in Melbourne on January 2 as a matter of highest priority and have asked any witnesses to come forward, he said. Investigations were on to identify the culprits in the recent Melbourne gurdwara fire.

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