Following the deportation of 19 Indian students who travelled on Air India flights to San Francisco recently, the carrier has offered to refund their tickets and also justified its move by stating that it received a communication from the US Customs and Border Protection Agency that two universities— Silicon Valley University and North Western Polytechnic College — are under scrutiny and their students who arrived in San Francisco were not allowed to enter the US.
Considering the situation, as a precautionary measure and to avoid inconvenience, students booked for travel to take admission to these universities are not being accepted on flights, clarified Air India on Monday.
The national carrier on Saturday barred 19 Indian students from boarding its flight to San Francisco so they are not “inconvenienced” after being told by the US authorities that the two universities to which they had secured admission were under “scrutiny”.
In a statement issued on Monday, the national carrier said “Students travel on a one-way ticket to US and in the event of deportation, the student incurs huge expenditure to buy a ticket back to India on first available service. Further, seats are often not available on any airlines to travel back.” Air India has decided not to accept any tickets booked for travel to take admission in these two universities.
Air India has also waived all charges involved. Full refund of air fare has also been offered.
According to the airline, 14 students who travelled to USA, claiming admission in the above mentioned universities have been deported from San Francisco. Later, around 20 more students from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, with admission in same universities were denied entry on Air India flight on December 19 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, one of the universities.Silicon Valley University (SVU), which was said to be under US government’s probe, called the reports of being blacklisted “absolutely false” on their school website.
Deepak, one of the 14 deported students, said they had all been issued valid visas following a clearance by the US Department of Homeland Security. “If the universities were blacklisted, why did they issue us the visa,” he wondered.