6 Mar 2010

Fears that death of child could raise tensions

8:59 am on 6 March 2010

Indian foreign minister SM Krishna says he expects a full police investigation into the death of a boy in Melbourne, which is now getting widespread media coverage in India.

The ABC reports Indian community leaders now fear the death of Gurshan Singh, aged three years, could reignite tensions between the two countries.

Mr Krishna has expressed his sorrow in an address in parliament and the boy's grandparents have appeared on television mourning the loss.

Mr Krishna said he is confident Victorian police will do all they can to find those responsible.

The boy's body was found on Thursday night in long grass on an isolated strip of road near Melbourne airport, about 30km away from the house in north Melbourne where he had been staying.

Gurshan and his parents arrived in Australia about six weeks ago. His mother was to study here, but the family had made plans to return to India next week.

The parents have given statements to police but are not suspects. Deputy police commissioner Sir Ken Jones said the case is being treated as homocide.

Police say an autopsy has been done, but more tests are required.

The ABC reports Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith is currently in India on a goodwill visit to help repair Australia's damaged reputation in the wake of a series of attacks on Indian students.