SYDNEY/ NEW DELHI - Australia today assured India that the perpetrators of the fatal knife attack on an Indian woman IT professional in a Sydney suburb will be brought to justice and a special detective squad has been assigned to probe the "brutal and cowardly" assault.
The assurance to probe the attack on 41-year-old Prabha Arun Kumar with utmost seriousness was given by New South Wales (NSW) Premier Mike Baird during a telephonic conversation with Sanjay Sudhir, Consul General of India in Sydney.
The NSW police has launched a probe following the stabbing of Prabha, who was on the phone with her husband in India, when the attack happened on Saturday in Westmead.
Sudhir, the victim's husband Arun Kumar, and a representative of her employer Mindtree, an IT firm, had a meeting with the NSW police during which they were informed about a special detective squad being formed to probe the attack, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said in New Delhi.
The detective squad -- Strike Force Marcoala -- which comprises of police from Parramatta Local Area Command and State Crime Command's Homicide Squad has been formed to investigate the death.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she was pained to know about the murder and that she was in constant touch with India's Consulate in Sydney which is providing all help.
"I am pained to know abt murder of Prabha Arun Kumar in Sydney. Our Consulate is in touch with her Company there and we promise all help," she tweeted.
"I am in constant touch with our Consulate in Sydney. The Consulate is providing all help. I have just spoken to Mr Arun Kumar, husband of the victim. He is satisfied with the assistance from the Consulate," she said.
NSW Premier Baird condemned the assault and expressed confidence that the police will bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice.
"I was shocked and horrified to hear about the attack on Prabha Arun Kumar and my thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this devastating time. I was particularly saddened to hear about the attack, which took place on Saturday just hours after I had joined the Indian community to celebrate Holi, the ancient Hindu festival of colours at Parramatta," Baird said.
"This was a brutal and cowardly attack on a member of the public that is now being investigated by a dedicated team of police officers and detectives. I have every confidence that Strike Force Marcoala will use every resource available to help bring the perpetrators of this horrific crime to justice," he said.