US fake varsity row: India issues ‘demarche’ to American Embassy on detention of Indian students

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FEBRUARY 2, 2019

India issued a demarche to the American Embassy Saturday, expressing its concern over the detention of Indian students in connection with their enrollment in a fraudulent university in the United States, and sought immediate consular access to them. US Embassy has also confirmed the same.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said India continues to closely monitor and take proactive measures to address the situation arising out of the detention of several Indian students in the US. A spokesperson from the American Embassy said, “We can confirm that the embassy received a demarche from the Ministry of External Affairs about the Indian citizens detained in the United States this week.” “Our concern over the dignity and well-being of the detained students and the need for immediate consular access for Indian officials to the detainees was reiterated,” it said.

Out of the 130 foreign students arrested by US authorities till Thursday for enrolling at a fake university allegedly to stay in that country, 129 were Indian nationals, said US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.

Through the demarche, the MEA underlined to the US Embassy that the students, who might have been duped into enrolling in the ‘university’ should be treated differently from the recruiters who have duped them. “We have urged the US side to share full details and regular updates of the students with the government, to release them from detention at the earliest and not to resort to deportation against their will,” the ministry said.

The India mission and consulates have dropped in detention centres throughout the US to extend consular assistance to the detained students, the MEA said. “So far, about 30 Indian students have been contacted by our consular officers. Efforts to contact the remaining Indian students are continuing,” it said.

The ministry has also established a 24/7 helpline in the Indian Embassy in Washington for assistance. The helpline numbers are: +1-202-322-1190 and +1-202-340-2590 and email is: cons3.washington@mea.gov.in.


Courtesy/Source: Indian Express

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