India has strongly taken up with the US the issue of Indian students duped by the Tri-Valley University in California being made to wear radio collars for monitoring purposes, urging the American authorities to remove them and treat them fairly and reasonably.
Maintaining that the fraud was done by the US university, minister for overseas Indian affairs and civil aviation, Vayalar Ravi said on Saturday “we requested the state department to take a lenient view because all the students are innocent.” He said the university had no registration and it was not the fault of the Indian students.
“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”, Vishnu Prakash spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said. There are now enough pointers to establish that the students were victims of no major fault of theirs.
A majority of the Indian students at the university had transferred from other US universities and approximately 100 students had obtained visas from US mission in India and many students in the US as dependents of their spouses, had enrolled in the University after taking the required authorization.
“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”, Prakash said.
New Delhi has also the US Government to provide it full information on the affected students as well a report on investigation process and action taken against the promoters of the university.
So far, the principal investigator into the case has provided Indian consulate in San Francisco a list of Immigration Attorneys, who are prepared to guide or advise the students free of charge, on immigration procedures.
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to the Consulate said that propose to bring out a detailed advisory for all students of TVU, sometime next week, which will be available on its website.
ICE has advised that all students of TVU to report to the nearest ICE office for instructions. 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 in USA would do everything possible to safeguard the legitimate interests of the Indian students and render all necessary consular assistance”, the spokesperson added.