Albo’s public scolding from Indian PM

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has received a public scolding from another world leader while conducting business overseas.

Mr Albanese, who was welcomed into India with a shower of flower petals on Thursday, received stern words from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about recent attacks on Hindu temples in Melbourne.

During a joint press conference, Mr Modi said he had spoken with Mr Albanese about the “worrying and distressing” attacks, which have seen the temples vandalised with anti-Hindu graffiti.

“I have conveyed our concern to PM Albanese and he has assured me that the safety and wellbeing of the Indian community in Australia is a priority for them. Our teams will be in touch regarding this and co-operate as much as possible with each other,” Mr Modi said.

Mr Modi expressed his concern over the recent attacks in Melbourne. Picture: Money Sharma / AFPMr Modi expressed his concern over the recent attacks in Melbourne. Picture: Money Sharma / AFP

The public comments from the Indian PM come after senior government officials reportedly raised the issue with the Australian federal government, as well as warning Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Home Affairs Minister Claire O’Neil about pro-Khalistan terrorists groups.

Journalists had also received briefings from Indian officials in Australia who were concerned about the rise in activities by Sikh separatists.

Indian officials are understood to be concerned by the decision of the Socialist Left faction within the Victorian ALP to employ a prominent member of the Khalistani state campaign who is alleged to have carried a Khalistan flag at a major Indian event.

Mr Albanese is understood to have affirmed Australia’s free speech commitment, but reassured Mr Modi of his commitment to deal with incidents of violence and hate speech.

Despite the public comments, the Prime Minister’s trip to India is smooth sailing, with agreements made on co-operation in sport, solar energy and the film industries across both Australia and India.

The PM made successful agreements with India. Picture: Money Sharma / AFP)The PM made successful agreements with India. Picture: Money Sharma / AFP)

Mr Albanese said he hopes the next stage of a free-trade agreement with India would be finalised by the end of 2024.

“This transformational deal will realise the full potential of the bilateral economic relationship creating new employment opportunities and raising living standards for the people of Australia and India,” Mr Albanese said.

Another agreement could see Bollywood movies filmed in Australia.

“As a long-time Bollywood fan, I’m particularly excited for this agreement. India is a global powerhouse when it comes to film,” Arts Minister Tony Burke said.

“Bringing a slice of Bollywood to Brisbane, while showcasing Melbourne to Mumbai is good news for the Australian screen industry.”

Read related topics:Anthony AlbaneseMelbourne

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