M A I N   N E W S

Another Indian’s body found in Oz
New Delhi issues travel advisory
Tribune News Service & PTI

Melbourne/New Delhi, January 5
Days after a 21-year-old Indian was stabbed to death here, the Australian police today found a partially-charred body of another youth from the country in New South Wales, amid diplomatic efforts to ease strains in ties over frequent attacks on the community.

The body of the 25-year-old victim was found on the roadside near Griffith in New South Wales on December 29. The police are yet to name the man but they are in touch with his family in India to help with identification.

Media reports said he could be the victim of a labour dispute as there has been a rise in Indian students working as contract labourers in western NSW and there are complaints that they are being exploited and underpaid.

Harry Goring of Australian Workers Union said he has heard of unpaid labourers taking matters into their own hands. "Over the last 12 months there have been two assaults around that area, people endeavouring to retrieve money for labour. I'm not saying for a moment that it's this with this man, but there have been a number of fracases in relation to Indian people pursuing certain individuals," he said.

Meanwhile, India has issued a travel advisory for Australia in the wake of recent killings of Indians there, say sources.

“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,’’ the travel advisory said.

The government noted that the attacks on Indians were continuing despite efforts by the local police to step up anti-crime measures and were occurring all over Melbourne without any discernable pattern or rationale behind them. Keeping these factors in view the Indian students were advised to take certain basic precautions while moving around in their own interest. The students should not travel alone at night.

If they travel alone, they must make sure that they have checked out their route carefully and that they keep to well-lit, populated areas as far as possible. They should make sure that someone knows where they are going and at what time they are expected to return. They should not carry more cash with them than what is required. The students should not make it obvious that they are in possession of expensive items, such as ipods or laptops.

They should always carry some identification with them as well as details of who should be contacted in an emergency.

If in danger, they should dial 000 to get the police help. In case, they have a complaint, they should get in touch with the officer responsible for students welfare in the High Commission or the Consulate nearest to them. — PTI




Nabha family in shock
Umesh Dewan
Tribune News Service

Ranjot Singh
Ranjot Singh

Alhora (Nabha), January 5
Recovery of a youth’s partially-burnt body in Australia has sent a Nabha-based family in shock.

Gurmail Singh’s son Ranjot Singh (25) suddenly went missing in Australia on December 27, 2009. On Monday, they received a call from the New South Wales police department that a burnt body of a youth had been found but its identity could not be confirmed because the face was badly burnt and that a team would be visiting them to collect DNA samples of family members to confirm the parenthood of the deceased.

“We are very worried as the cops recovered a kada and an earring. My brother was wearing a kada and an earring when he went missing,” said Ranjot’s younger brother Satnam. He said their aunt, Sarita — who also lives in Australia — lodged a missing complaint with the Australian police on December 31, 2009.

“Ranjot had gone to Australia almost a year ago and was into farming in Griffith near Melbourne. He was earning full time, whereas his wife Kanchan was on a student visa,” said Ranjot’s father Gurmail Singh.

Ranjot’s mother Paramjit Kaur said they used to call Ranjot every evening. “All of a sudden we lost contact with him on December 27. We were told he went for a late evening party and never came back. His cellphone has been switched off ever since,” she said.

Ranjot’s parents have appealed to the Indian and Australian governments to help them tracing their son. The team of officials supposed to visit Ranjot’s house had not reached the village till the time of filing of this report.



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