Australia duty bound to punish killers of Indian: Krishna

Bangalore, Jan 4 ( External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Monday said the Australian government was “duty bound” to punish the killers of Indian student Nitin Garg.

The Australian government “is duty bound and morally bound to investigate and bring the culprit to book”, he told reporters here.

“That is the least the Australian government can do and that is what we expect,” Krishna said, after meeting Governor H.R. Bhardwaj to greet him on the New Year.

Krishna also said he had spoken to the Indian High Commissioner Sujatha Singh in Canberra Monday. She has taken up the issue with the Australian government “in the strongest possible terms”.

Garg, 21, an accounting graduate, was knifed in West Footscray Saturday while on way to work. He staggered to Hungry Jack’s restaurant and pleaded for help before collapsing.

He was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where he died. Garg hailed from Punjab.

On Australian police’s view that the attack on Garg was not racist, the minister said “the fact of the matter is that an Indian student has been murdered and the culprit should be brought to book”.

Krishna said “unfortunate incidents like the Indian student killing will only vitiate the atmosphere of trust and cordiality” between the two countries.

He, however, said the relations between the two countries were strong as shown by the visits of Australian leaders to India and his own trip to that country last year.