Racist Attacks in Oz: SC Concerned, Says Students’ Safety Paramount

With attacks on Indian students refusing to draw to a close, the Supreme Court has expressed concerns over the hate incidences and instructed the central government to submit an affidivate within to two weeks detailing steps taken by it to ensure safety of students.
“The safety and security of Indian students in Australia is paramount,” a bench comprising Justices Dalveer Bhandari and A K Ganguli said.

“We are sure that the government must be taking all steps but our anxiety is that, despite the best of efforts on the part of the government, the incidents of attacks are going on,” the bench observed.

The apex court’s decision came following hearing an appraisal on the steps already taken by the Centre from Attorney General G E Vahanvati.

He also said that the attacks could not be called as racist in nature.

Directing the Centre to file its report within two weeks, the Bench asked the government to place all information on the website as anxious parents, relatives and friends of Indian students in Australia are entitled to know the exact situation in the country.

The apex court said the contents of the affidavit and the guidelines should be placed on the website of the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Overseas Indians besides on the website of the Indian High Commission in Australia so that parents and relatives are aware of the exact situation prevailing there.

Earlier, responding to a notice issued by the court on a PIL alleging inaction on the part of the government in dealing with the attacks on Indian students in Australia, the Centre had said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself had taken up the matter with his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd on May 29.

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