Indian booked for kid's death Down Under

MELBOURNE: Australian police today charged a man with manslaughter over the mysterious death of an Indian toddler whose body was found dumped by the side of a road.

Gurshan Singh’s body, who was in Australia with his parents, was found in long grass beside an isolated road in Melbourne’s north on Thursday night. An initial autopsy was inconclusive and a cause of death has not been revealed. Police said Gursewak Dhillon, 23, who lived in the same house as the little boy, had been charged with manslaughter due to criminal negligence. The toddler

disappeared from a suburban house on Thursday afternoon while his mother was taking

a shower and his father was

at a nearby library. His body was found about six hours later around 30 km.

There had been fears the case could have further damaged relations between

Australia and India which have plunged in recent months following a series of attacks on Indian students, including the murder of a 21-year-old Punjab man.

It comes as Foreign Minister Stephen Smith last week made a goodwill visit to India designed to bolster ties between the growing trade partners and quell fears about the safety of Indian students Down Under. Smith admitted today: “We do have a job to repair some damage to our reputation as a result of the way in which the students issue has been perceived.”

He said Australians had a lot in common with Indians in terms of democracy, shared values and an interest in sports.

The child’s distraught parents, who are from Punjab in northern Indian and who had both been studying in Australia, were seen leaving an interview with police shortly ahead of the arrest.