India issues demarche to USA over detained students

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"We underlined that students, who may have been duped into enrolling in the "university", should be treated differently from those recruiters who have duped them. Telephone numbers are +1-202-322-1190 and +1-202-340-2590 and email: cons3.washington@mea.gov.in", the release said. Parents claim that it may cause collateral damage to students and their families.

File image of Sushma Swaraj.

The Indian Embassy in Washington and its consulates are in touch with student organisations and have offered help.

The charge sheet accuses all the enrolled students as wilful collaborators, instead of falling victims of an education racket as they all knew they will not be attending any classes to earn credits or earn an academic degree in a particular field of study at the end of the course, a HT report stated.

The organisation has confirmed that 100 students from the Farmington University in MI have been arrested and warrants have been issued for another 600. It has now been closed. The arrest of such a huge number of students has created panic among the Indian students.

The university was a cover to identify recruiters who were part of illegal immigration.

The students face possible deportation if convicted. A number of students have been put under some kind of house arrest with tracking device on their ankles, that prohibits them from moving out of a designated area in their neighbourhood. The eight accused at the centre of the alleged scheme were arrested earlier this week. Out of these, nearly 129 are claimed to be Indian students and student recruiters.

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According to the indictment unsealed in a local court on Wednesday, these eight individuals helped at least 600 foreign nationals stay in the United States illegally. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents made the arrests on Wednesday.

It goes on to allege that each student knew the university's programmes were not approved by Homeland Security and that it was illegal. This is for the first time probably that such a large number of Indian students have been arrested together.

The external affairs ministry statement said authorities were closely monitoring the situation and taking proactive measures.

The Indian Embassy and consulates are in touch with the various USA government departments, including the Homeland Security and the ICE, and consular officers have met with some of the detainees, the Indian Embassy told The Hindu on Friday afternoon.

The university has a.edu website set up with a physical address to a building on Northwestern Highway just south of 13 Mile. Acting promptly, the Indian embassy sought the details of her husband. "Fake foreign students" would be more accurate".

In New Delhi, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, "We are aware about this incident".

The India mission and consulates have visited several detention centres throughout the United States to extend consular assistance to the detained students, the MEA said. Termed "pay-to-stay" scheme, the prosecutors have alleged that students knowingly enrolled themselves in the fake university to maintain their student visa status to remain in the US.

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