Monday, November 29, 1999

Australian teenager held for killing Indian

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Melbourne, June 17 (IANS) A 15-year-old Australian boy was arrested Thursday in connection with the murder of Indian accounting graduate Nitin Garg and sent to police custody till October.The boy was arrested in Yarraville, five months after Garg, 21, was stabbed Jan 2 as he walked through Cruickshank Park in Melbourne's west on his way to a Yarraville Hungry Jack's outlet, where he worked part-time.After the stabbing, Garg staggered to the fast food outlet, at the corner of Somerville and Geelong roads, and died later.The teenager, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, replied 'okay' after the magistrate outlined the schedule of dates for his case. He was remanded in custody to reappear in October, The Age reported.Detective Inspector Bernie Edwards, of the Homicide Squad, said police did not believe race was a factor in the murder.'Our inquiries, at this stage, we don't believe it was racially motivated,' he told reporters after the boy's arrest.He said Garg's family in India had been informed about the arrest.'Victoria Police at all levels are engaging with the Indian community and other communities to assure them that Australia is a great place to live and it is usually a safe place to live,' Edwards said.'The point I do want to get across (is that) Victoria Police are trying to get knives off the street and this may be one of those occasions where people can learn a lesson why they shouldn't be armed with knives.''Other people will be spoken to as to their knowledge and their involvement in the incident,' he said, adding that the murder is not believed to be gang-related.

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