India slams US tagging

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Bangalore: The Center on January 31 dubbed “inhuman” a US move to make some Indian students wear a GPS tracking device and demanded action against American, authorities who had ordered it.

“We demand that the US government initiate severe action against those officials responsible for this inhuman act,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said in Bangalore. “Indian students are not criminals. The radio collars should be removed immediately.”

The Indian embassy in Washington has asked the Obama administration to ensure that no student was victimized, and also launched an e-mail helpline for them. The embassy and its consulates in New York and San Francisco have taken up the matter with the US authorities.

The students, mostly from Andhra Pradesh, were reportedly duped by a sham university in California and now face deportation. The US authorities last week shut down Tri-Valley University after finding it involved in a massive immigration fraud.

The university had 1,555 students, and as much as 95 percent of the students were said to be Indians.

Krishna said his Ministry would extend all help to the students and asked their parents not to worry as the matter had been taken up with the appropriate authorities.

The government would provide suitable assistance to the affected students if they wished to return home, Krishna said.

Following a raid on the university campus last week, the US federal authorities questioned some of the students.

Immigration attorneys and Indian-American community leaders, who have been helping the students, said scores of them had been detained first, then released on a bond and many were made to wear the GPS devices to enable authorities to keep track of their movements.

The students are now knocking on the doors of other institutes to save their careers and avoid deportation.

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