Mourners farewell slain Indian student

2010-01-10 16:47:00

Slain Indian student Nitin Garg has been farewelled in a funeral service after his body was flown home to his family. Hundreds of mourners paid their respects to the student whose body has been cremated near his family's home in the northern state of Punjab.  The 21-year-old died after he was stabbed in the Melbourne western suburbs last weekend while walking through a park to his workplace at Hungry Jacks late at night.

The funeral comes as Victoria Police investigate the alleged attack on another Indian man 29-year-old Jaspreet Singh who is in a serious condition in hospital with burns to 15 per cent of his body.

He claims he was doused with petrol and set alight by a group of four males after he parked his car near his home in Essendon on Saturday.

Claims of racism have been raised in the Indian media, after the two recent attacks but Acting Foreign Minister Simon Crean says he does not believe that racism is on the rise in Australia.

Mr Crean says Australia is a tolerant and anti-racist society, but there is no guarantee everyone subscribes to those values.

He says in the most recent cases, he does not believe race was an issue.

"I think it's also important in terms of the most recent incident, that a relative of Mr Singh, the victim of the recent attack, also doesn't believe it was racially based."

Mr Crean has welcomed a move by the Indian government to urge media restraint over the latest attack.

The Indian Ministry of External affairs has urged journalists to show the utmost restraint in covering the story, saying irresponsible reporting could aggravate the situation and have a bearing on bi-lateral relations.

Mr Crean says he is happy with the Indian government's call for calm. (ABC)

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