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Another Indian student killed in Australia: Racism or hard times to blame?

Nitin Garg, an accounting graduate from India studying in Australia, was stabbed to death Saturday in the latest attack on Indians. Competition with Indian migrants for jobs in poor suburbs may be behind it.

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The killing of Nitin Garg last weekend has thrust concern about the safety of Indian students in Australia back into the spotlight – straining diplomatic ties and reenergizing debate about whether racism or just criminal behavior is at the root of the problem.

A spate of assaults on Indian students raised concerns in the middle of last year. But the murder of Mr. Garg, an accounting graduate who was stabbed in a suburban Melbourne park as he walked home at night after his shift at a fast-food restaurant, has caused outrage in India, which issued a travel advisory Tuesday urging its nationals in Australia to take special precautions.

Garg’s death also sparked a high-level war of words, with India’s External Affairs Minister, S.M. Krishna, warning that the “heinous crime” would harm bilateral relations. Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard insisted that Australia was “an accepting, tolerant, multicultural nation” with one of the world’s lowest crime rates.

Harsh headlines

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