New Delhi, Dec 15:
The Indian consulate in Australia’s Sydney city has been evacuated following a hostage taking at a nearby cafe, an official said.
Vinod Bahade, deputy consul general in Sydney, told IANS that though there was no confirmation regarding the nationality of the hostages, the officials were in constant touch with the security agencies.
The consulate is barely 400 metres from the cafe where a gunman took over three dozen people hostage.
“Minutes after we got to know that some people at a nearby cafe have been taken hostage by a gunman, the Indian consulate was evacuated. However, we have not shut it and the work will resume once the problem is solved,” Bahade told IANS over phone from Sydney.
The hostage-taking took place in Sydney’s bustling central business district.
Bahade said they have been constantly getting updates from the Australian authorities and trying to know if any Indian was among the hostages.
Surinder Datta, deputy high commissioner at the Indian High Commission at Canberra, told IANS that the incident is being constantly being monitored.
“We are taking reports from the Indian consulate in Sydney. This is a very critical issue and we do not want to take any decision in hurry,” he told IANS over phone from Canberra.