Indians among 36 foreign students held on study visa breach charges in Australia

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Sydney, July 15 (ANI): Thirty-six international students, including some Indians, have been taken into immigration confinement for allegedly breaching study visa conditions in Australia.

Most of the student visa holders being held are from China, but others come from Pakistan and India, The Australian reports.

The detention comes in a time when India is closely watching the Australian treatment to its students, who were recently subjected to a series of racial attacks in Sydney and Melbourne.

The infringements include petty charges such as: not passing subjects and poor attendance.

However, an Australian Immigration Department spokesman insisted that none of the detained students, most of them aged between 18 and 21, was locked up solely for failing to meet course requirements. Most of the detainees had overstayed their visas

According to government figures, some 2646 overseas students have been detained since January 2001.

Critics say that the presence of so many students in immigration custody shows that the Rudd government's policy of detention, as a last resort is not working.

University of NSW immigration detention researcher Leanne Weber said it was "disturbing" that young students were still being detained despite recommendations from a Senate committee in 2006 urging more flexibility and compassion, and ministerial directives restricting the use of detention.

Maurene Horder, CEO of Migration Institute of Australia, added: "Some overstay deliberately or inadvertently, but for young people carried away with lifestyle, their legal status is not paramount in their minds, and we know they often don't have a high level of guardianship or parental support." (ANI)

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