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Modi takes up with Aus PM killing of Indian-origin bus driver

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today raised with his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull India’s concern over the brutal killing of a 29-year-old Indian-origin bus driver, who was burned to death when a man poured some flammable liquid on him in Brisbane.

Prime Minister Modi telephoned Turnbull to wish him Diwali greetings and also conveyed a “sense of concern being felt in India over the recent brutal killing of Mr. Manmeet Alisher, a person of Indian origin, in Australia,” a Prime Minister’s Office statement here said.

Alisher, a well-known singer in the Punjabi community, was driving a Brisbane City Council bus on Friday when he was targeted by the man who threw an “incendiary device” at him which sparked a fire.

Alisher died on the spot while several passengers on board the bus at the time managed to escape through the rear door.

Turnbull expressed shock at the killing and conveyed to Modi that the matter is being investigated.

Prime Minister Modi reiterated his invitation to Premier Turnbull for a visit to India in 2017, the statement said.

Police had earlier said that there was “no apparent motive” including terror or race related in the killing of the Indian-origin man.

A 48-year-old man had been taken into custody over the incident.

PTI