India-Australia relations still on a strong wicket

Although senior Indian politicians indicated on 15 March that ‘there was a need to have a wider consultation on the relationship between India and Australia’, in the aftermath of the fatal stabbing of an Indian mum in Sydney on 7 March, Consul General of India in Sydney has reiterated the relations between the two nations continue to be as good as ever.

Prabha Arun Kumar
Sunjay Sudhir, Consul General of India in Sydney

‘India Australia relations are on a strong wicket,” Consul General of India in Sydney, Sunjay Sudhir, told southasia.com.au on 16 March. He remarked that the ‘relations have been further cemented’ by Tony Abbott’s visit to India last September followed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Australia in November.

Sudhir appreciated the ‘supportive and cooperative’ response of both the New South Wales and the federal governments in regard to the case of slain Indian mum Prabha Arun Kumar. India’s foreign minister Sushma Swaraj has spoken to her Australian counterpart Julie Bishop who assured the former of ‘all support’, he said in an emailed response to southasia.com.au’s query about a particular comment by an Indian minister.

While paying homage to Prabha, India’s Minister of Law and Justice D.V. Sadananda Gowda had said that there was a need to have a wider consultation on India-Australia relations. “Despite steps taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to improve the relationship between India and Australia, such an incident has taken place. There is a need for the Australian government to initiate steps to ensure such incidents do not recur, as there are several Indian students in Australia,” The Hindu quoted minister Gowda.

Prabha Arun Kumar
The last rites of slain Indian mum Prabha Arun Kumar. Source:rediff.com

Local media outlets in India said several friends and relatives of the victim’s family expressed concern at the lack of progress of the investigation. However, the Consul General reminds, ‘The investigations are still in a preliminary phase.’

Prabha was stabbed in the neck just 300 metres from her home in the suburb of Westmead in Sydney.

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