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Indian minister steps in after students attacked in Milan

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she was attending to the matter personally. Source: Reuters

An Indian minister has urged the country’s students in Milan, Italy, not to panic after a robbery raised concerns over a racially-motivated attack.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she was attending to the matter personally and assured the students the government was making an effort to prevent a future recurrence of the incident, Zee News reported.

On Twitter, the leader said she has received a full report on the incident.

“Attack on Indian students in Milan: I have got the detailed report. Pls do not worry. I am monitoring the situation personally,” she tweeted.

The Indian consulate issued a statement saying it has taken the matter up with local authorities.

It also urged students to report similar incidences as the earliest.

“The Consulate has received reports of unfortunate incidents of attacks on the Indian students in Milan. All Indian students are urged not to panic. The Consulate is taking up the matter with the highest of law and order authorities in Milan,” the consulate said.

“In the meanwhile students are advised to be in touch with each other (particularly when they go out) as well as with the Consulate and spread the information among other students about the areas where they face such incidents so that such areas can be avoided or approached with greater caution.”

According to The Hindu, The Indian Students Association for Polimi (Politechnic University of Milan) said two incidents took place over the past few days involving a mobile phone robbery on a student and assault on another in a separate attack.

The minister later said the attacks were not likely racially-motivated, a remark that was echoed by G.V. Sandeep of the students’ association.

Sandeep said the investigation needs to be completed and avoided describing the attacks as ‘racist’.

“Following the attacks, locals have reached out to us offering to help. Our community is widely appreciated in Milan; even the media in the city has enquired and extended all sorts of help to create awareness, so I want to state clearly that Italy remains safe for Indians and Indian students,” Sandeep was quoted as saying.

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