India concerned over radio collaring of Indian students of closed US varsity

Saturday, January 29, 2011

NEW DELHI - India on Saturday said that it is seriously concerned over the United States’ decision of making some Indian students of the California-based Tri Valley University (TVU) wear radio collars around their ankles.

The radio collars will electronically monitor their movement and ensure that they do not go underground or missing.

“Government of India is seriously concerned about the impact of the US federal action against Tri Valley University (TVU) in California on the Indian students, enrolled at the now closed university,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said in response to questions, including the tagging of some of the students.

“A majority of the Indian students at the university had transferred from other US universities; approximately 100 students had obtained visas from US mission in India; and, a number of students in the US as dependents of their spouses, had enrolled in the University after taking the required authorization,” he added.

Prakash also said that the Consulate General of India in San Francisco, and the External Affairs Ministry are in touch with the Indian students and US authorities.

“We have conveyed to the US authorities that the students, most of who are victims themselves, must be treated fairly and reasonably, and that the use of monitors on a group of students, who were detained and later released with monitors in accordance with US laws, is unwarranted and should be removed,” the spokesperson said.

“The students should be given ample opportunity to clarify their position and present their case; those who wish to return to India should be allowed to do so voluntarily; those students who have not violated any visa or immigration laws should be given opportunity to adjust their status; and, those who are eligible to seek transfer to other universities should be given adequate opportunity and time to do so,” he added.

He further said that the Ministry has also asked the US Government to provide the full information on the affected students and keep the Ministry informed as the investigation unfolds, as well as, on the action being taken against the promoters of the university and others involved in perpetrating the fraud.

“The principal investigator into the case has provided our consulate in San Francisco a list of Immigration Attorneys, who are prepared to guide/advise the students free of charge, on mmigration procedures,” Prakash said

“This list is available on the website of the Indian Consulate in San Francisco. The Consulate has also put up a link on its home page to receive details of all ex-TVU students present in the US,” he added.

The spokesperson said that the preliminary information provided by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to the Consulate is that they propose to bring out a detailed advisory for all students of TVU, sometime next week, which will be available on its website.

“It will provide guidance to eligible students regarding what they can do to seek admission in other schools. ICE has advised that all students of TVU, wherever they are, should report to the nearest ICE office for instructions,” Prakash said.

“Those students who are presently in India with TVU sponsored Visas should not travel to the US with that visa. They can apply to other universities and, if admitted, could apply afresh for new visas.”

“The Ministry and our Mission / Post in USA would do everything possible to safeguard the legitimate interests of the Indian students and render all necessary consular assistance,” he added. (ANI)

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