New Delhi: India condemned the fatal stabbing of an Indian student in Australia and warned that the attack, which was the latest in a series of assaults, could put bilateral ties under strain.
The 21-year-old student was killed over the weekend in the southern city of Melbourne.
“This heinous crime on humanity, this is an uncivilised brutal attack on innocent Indians,” Indian foreign minister SM Krishna told reporters late Sunday in the southern city of Bangalore.
“It certainly will have some bearing on the bilateral ties between our two countries,” Krishna said, urging Australia to “speedily” catch those responsible.
The stabbing was the latest in a series of attacks on Indian students in Australia over the past year, despite repeated promises by the government to increase police patrols.
Australian officials have downplayed any racial aspect to the attacks, saying jobs that Indian students do to support their education meant they were often in dangerous areas or on public transport late at night.
The assaults have attracted widespread media condemnation in India, and triggered street protests by Indians in Sydney and Melbourne.
An interim report on Australia’s international education sector released last month found its global reputation had been damaged by news of the attacks and later revelations of migration scams.
Australia’s lucrative higher education industry is worth AUS$17.2 billion (US$15.4 billion) a year and is officially listed as the country’s fourth largest export earner.
About 115,000 Indians have studied in Australia in the last 12 months after a university publicity blitz targeting the country’s growing middle class.