TEEN CHARGED WITH MURDER

June 18th, 2010 by Ravi Matah | Posted in News   No Comments »
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Arrest of suspect by Victorian police in relation to death of an Indian national 

The Ministry of External Affairs New Delhi has stated that a teen has been arrested in the murder of Nitin Garg, 21, who was stabbed on the night of January 2 in Melbourne.

A 21 year old Indian national Nitin Garg, was found dead in West Footscray, Melbourne on 2nd January 2010.

The Victorian State Government authorities have informed the Consulate General of India, Melbourne that a 15 year old boy was arrested today, by the Victorian Police, in relation to the death of the late Nitin Garg. He is expected to be charged with one count of murder and would be produced in the Children’s Court today.

Our Mission in Canberra and the Consulate General in Melbourne are closely following developments.

A-15 year old Australian boy was charged on Thursday with the murder of Indian student Nitin Garg, with the police saying there was no racial motive in the killing, which had sent shock waves back home.

The breakthrough in the high-profile case, which threatened to derail India-Australia ties, came with the police arresting the teenage suspect early on Thursday morning.

The name of the teenager has not not been revealed as it might hamper further investigations. He was produced before a Children’s Court after his arrest in a Melbourne suburb.

Garg, 21, was stabbed to death while walking to work through a park on January 2, and the incident was one in a series of violent attacks against Indians in Australia.

The crime  came in for strong condemnation both in New Delhi and Canberra, with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna describing it as a ‘heinous crime on humanity’ and ‘an uncivilized brutal attack on innocent Indians’.

However, the Victorian police, who made the arrest, said there was no racial motive found in the killing of Garg investigations so far.

“In our inquiries at this stage we don’t believe (Garg’s death) was racially motivated,” Detective Inspector handling the case, Bernie Edwards said.

“It’s relatively clear why it happened and how it happened but I won’t speculate on the motive,” he said. He further said there was no evidence of gang involvement in Garg’s death.

Victorian police have not identified the 15-year-old suspect and haven’t disclosed the details of the crime because of legal issues in dealing with a juvenile.

Edwards admitted that homicide detectives had felt the pressure of solving the murder after the Indian government had claimed it was racially-motivated.

“Like any homicide we will keep going until we solve it, however there was a lot of pressure and I congratulate Senior Sergeant Dave Snare and his team in their investigation,” Edwards said.

“We are extremely pleased for Nitin Garg’s family and the Indian community here in Australia,” he said. The teenager responded “okay” after the magistrate outlined the schedule of dates for his case. The teen will be produced in the Court on July 8.

His parents were also present in the court and the mother was seen weeping as the teenager was remanded to custody after a brief appearance.

Edwards said police was also questioning a number of other people in connection with the killing but did not say if further charges were expected. Fifteen detectives were involved in the investigation, he said.

The 21-year-old accountancy student from Punjab was stabbed in a local park at Footscray West in January as he walked to work at a fast food restaurant. He had staggered for nearly 300 meters into the restaurant on the corner of Somerville Road and Geelong Road, West Footscray, about 10 pm local time on Jan 2nd. and pleaded for help before collapsing.

Ravi Matah.

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