The two US universities whose students were offloaded by Air India have denied they were blacklisted and said stricter screening at airport was due to heightened security after the Paris attacks.
“These reports (of blacklisting) are absolutely and completely false,” Northwestern Polytechnic University said in a statement posted on its website .
It added that its officials have spoken with a US Customs and Border Protection representative and it “is the representative’s understanding that no US government agency has ‘blacklisted’ NPU and that there is no general order for US Customs officers to refuse entry into the U.S. by NPU students”.
Silicon Valley University has also denied it had been blacklisted. “Recently there are some rumor on (sic) SVU has been targeting to proceed extra screening measures or even alleging SVU has been ‘blacklisted’ ”, it said in a statement.
“These rumors are absolutely false. SVU is (a) valid educational institution. Students at SVU are not being targeted and (it’s) safe to study in the US.”
There was no response to multiple requests to US Department of Homeland Security and US Customs and Border Protection -- on phone and mail -- to confirm or deny the status of the universities and the deportation of students till the filing of this report.
In Hyderabad, India, Air India said it will start accepting students traveling to join these universities, at no additional cost, as soon as clearance is received from its US office, according to PTI.
“Students who secured admission in those institutions have been deported to India as soon as they land there. To avoid embarrassment to them and save their money, we prevented them from boarding the flight,” an AI official said in Hyderabad.