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India to students in Aus: 'Don't travel alone, stay alert'

Last updated on: January 05, 2010 20:57 IST

The Centre on Tuesday issued a travel advisory for Australia in the wake of the killings of two Indians there in the last one week, said sources.

The advisory warns Indian students that there has been an increase in violence on the streets of Melbourne, and urges them to take basic precautions and be alert while traveling.


The advisory also asks Indian students to avoid traveling alone late in the night, not to carry too much cash or other valuable items, and carry some form of identification.


"The Ministry of External Affairs cautions Indian students who are planning to study in Australia that there have been several incidents of robbery and assault on Indians in Australia, particularly in Melbourne, which has seen an increase in violence on its streets in recent years, with the offenders suspected to be mainly young people in their teens and early 20s," said the government advisory. 


 "These incidents are continuing to occur despite efforts by the local police to step up anti-crime measures, and are occurring all over Melbourne without any discernable pattern or rationale behind them. Increasingly also, the acts of violence, are often accompanied by verbal abuse, fuelled by alcohol and drugs," it informed.


 "While, the majority of Indian students studying in Australia, especially those enrolled in Universities and reputable institutions, have a positive experience of living and studying in Australia, the number of such incidents of assault as well as of robbery has been on the rise in recent months, which has affected not only Indian students but also members of the larger Indian community in Australia."


 "Keeping these factors in view, the government of India advises Indian students studying in Australia as well as those planning to study there, that they should take certain basic precautions in being alert to their own security while moving around," it further stated.


The advisory asks Indian students: "Do not to travel alone late at night. if you are traveling alone, make sure that you have checked out your route carefully and that you keep to well-lit, populated areas as far as possible, make sure that someone knows where you are going and at what time you are expected to return."


 "Don't carry more cash with you than what is required, do not make it obvious that you are in possession of expensive items, such as ipods or laptops, always carry some identification with you as well as details of who should be contacted in an emergency, if in danger, dial 000 to get police help. In case you have a complaint, get in touch with the officer responsible for students welfare in the High Commission or the Consulate nearest to you," the advisory adds.

Nitin Garg, 21, was stabbed to death at West Foorscray, a suburb of Melbourne, by some goons on Saturday night, while he was on his way to work at a local restaurant. The police have said the motive for the attack, which they described as vicious, was not known.

A partially burnt body found in New South Wales province is believed to be of a 25-year-old Indian national, the police said on Tuesday, in what might be the second fatality in a slew of vicious attacks on Indians. The body found on a roadside near Griffith last week is yet to be formally identified but police believe it is that of an Indian man.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has condemned the attacks and warned the Australian government that if it did not take immediate action against the ongoing attacks, India will be forced to take a firm decision.  

Source: ANI