New York, Feb 13 (IANS) The US Sunday assured India that Indian students, who were victims of a sham university in California, will be dealt with “fairness”, when External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna spoke to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In their 15-minute telephonic conversation, Krishna also discussed Clinton’s forthcoming visit to India, expected in April, for the second round of the India-US strategic dialogue.
Krishna impressed upon Clinton the need to find a humanitarian solution to the sham Tri-Valley University (TVU) tangle as many Indian students had come on a legal visa.
Some 1,555 students of TVU, 90 percent of them from India, mostly Andhra Pradesh, face the prospect of deportation following the closure of the university in Pleasanton, California, on charges of selling student visas.
Clinton, said informed sources, has asked the Indian ambassador to the US Meera Shankar to meet her Monday and provide more details. The two also discussed the situation in Egypt in the aftermath of president Hosni Mubarak’s exit.
Krishna, who is in New York to participate in deliberations of the United Nations Security Council, also took up the students issue with other senior US officials.
“We have been assured that the students will be dealt with fairness and not just legalistically,” Krishna said in a statement to media here Saturday.
“The options that the US government is considering is to allow the students on a case by case basis to leave the US voluntarily without prejudice or to allow them to transfer to other universities or reinstate their visas’ status if they were already enrolled in legitimate universities which are prepared to take them back,” he said.
“Our government through our embassy in Washington and consulates in America has been working closely with students from India who have unfortunately got caught in the Tri-Valley University scam,” he said.
“We have had prolonged discussions with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), with the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department,” he said, adding that India was providing students free legal assistance.
“You will be happy to know that radio tagging has been removed from some students and other cases are being actively pursued,” he said.
“I want to assure that we will spare no effort with the US authorities to get our students fair and humanitarian outcome,” he added.