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01-06-2010, 01:15 AM #1
Warne, Ponting urged to speak against violence on Indian students
Cricketing legends Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting have been urged to speak out against violence against Indian students following the brutal murder of Nitin Garg on Saturday night.
Gautam Gupta, a spokesman for the Federation of Indian Students in Australia, says the two cricket stars have huge followings in India and it is about time they voiced their concerns.
Gupta said it was time Ponting and Warne spoke up because they have millions of fans in India.
"They should jump in and defend Indian students in Australia," Mr Gupta said.
"Shane Warne is an icon in India - he has millions of fans."
Gupta said the Indian community believed the murder was a ''racist attack''.
"His (Garg's) mobile phone and his wallet were still there. There''s a lot of frustration because of the question of racism. What we have to see is how this anger is manifested," Gupta said.
"From their point of view, there can be no other motivation than race. Everyone I have spoken to says there''s a lot of fear and a lot of anger about it," he added.
Garg, a 21-year-old accounting graduate, who was on his way to his job at a Hungry Jacks fast food outlet in West Melbourne on Saturday night when he was attacked.
Australia''s bilateral relationship with India is also being threatened after Garg's murder.
One of Garg''s relatives is expected in Australia this week to collect his body and return it to the family''s home in Punjab.
Gupta said student leaders were considering holding a protest and he predicted a frenzied reaction once news of the killing hit the Indian media.
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