Advocates’ apex body postpones visit to Australia

NEW DELHI - Upset over the spate of racial attacks on Indians in Australia, the Bar Council of India has postponed a nine-day visit of its members to the continent.

“In view of the prevailing situation in Australia… the members of the Bar Council of India have decided to postpone the scheduled visit to Australia i.e. from 9th to 17th July, 2009, for the present,” Bar Council of India chairman S.N.P. Sinha said in a letter last week to the Australian High Commission here.

The countrys apex body decided to postpone its visit within days after Union Tourism Minister Kumari Selja cancelled her visit to Australia. Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan had also turned down an honorary doctorate conferred on him by the Queensland University due to the racial attacks.

Professor William Ford, Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Western Australia, in a letter to the Bar Council of India on behalf of the Council of Australian Law Deans (CALD) June 4 expressed very deep concern about recent events in the State of Victoria where students from India have been assaulted and seriously injured or otherwise intimidated.

Claiming that Australians are generally welcoming people, CALD expressed confidence that steps were being taken as a matter of urgency to address the outbreak of violence that had occurred in the recent past.

An Indian student was recently attacked and racially abused in east Melbourne, taking the total number of Indians attacked or mugged in the past month to 14 in Australia.

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