Amid a series of attacks on several Indian students studying in Italy, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj yesterday requested them not to panic and alert others about the "risky zones". The Consulate General of India (CGI), while referring to reports of unfortunate incidents involving Indians in Milan over the last few days, has reached out to the students and assured them that the officials are taking up the matter with higher authorities there.
Swaraj also said that she has received a report about the incidents and she was "personally monitoring the situation".
"All Indian students are urged not to panic. The Consulate is taking up this matter with the highest level of law and order authorities in Milan," an advisory posted on Twitter said.
The advisory, however, did not comment on whether the attacks appeared to be racially motivated.
Students have been asked to be vigilant and stay in touch with the Consulate. They are being encouraged to share the information with other students about the areas where they experienced "such incidents" so that similar attacks can be avoided.
The consulate has also asked to report any such incident on the helpline number provided in the advisory.
The reports of attacks have coincided with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni's two-day visit to India. PM Gentiloni arrived in Delhi on Monday and inked six pacts to boost cooperation in key sectors, including energy and trade following discussions with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two leaders also resolved to "fight terrorism and violent extremism in all their forms and manifestations".
Milan, the global capital of fashion and design, is considered Italy's top student city as it's home to many world-renowned universities. Every year, a lot of Indians head for Milan to study design, arts, architecture, fashion as well as Economics, Computer Science etc.