An unnamed 16-year-old Australian has pleaded guilty to the murder of Indian student Nitin Garg — a case that strained bilateral relations.
Garg, 21, was stabbed at Cruickshank Park in Melbourne’s Yarraville, on his way to work at Hungry Jack’s on January 2 evening last year.
The youth, who pleaded guilty in a children’s court to being an accessory to the fatal stabbing, will now appear for a plea hearing in June.
Attack on Garg followed a rash of violent incidents in which Indian students were targeted in Australia amid allegations that the attacks were racially motivated.
A report in this regard was published in Herald Sun. Earlier, high-profile priest Father Bob Maguire and suburban youth worker Les Twentyman had called on the person(s) behind the stabbing murder of Garg to surrender to them. The pair had said the culprit(s) might be too scared to give themselves up to police.
The incident had then forced India to issue the following advisory to the students planning to study in Australia:
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 most recent incident of this kind has been the fatal stabbing of a young Indian, aged 21 years old, in Melbourne on 2 January, as he was walking to his place of work late at night from a train station through a public park.
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.
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:
Do not travel alone late at night.
If you are travelling 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.