US justifies use of trackers on Indian students duped by TVU

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) The US today sought to justifythe use of ankle monitors on the students, duped by now closedTri-Valley University, saying it was widespread across Americaas a standard procedure for a variety of investigations anddoes not necessarily imply guilt or suspicion of criminalactivity.

The US response followed a sharp reaction by Indiangovernment which termed the use of trackers as "unacceptable"and demanded their removal.

After being duped by a California-based "sham"university, scores of Indian students in the US were forced towear radio collars around their ankles so that authorities cankeep track of their movements.

"US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) haveestablished a helpline for the Indian students affected by theclosure of Tri-Valley University in California, under whichany affected student may call to seek help. Some of thoseinvolved in the Tri-Valley investigation have been issuedankle monitors.

"Use of ankle monitors is widespread across the UnitedStates and standard procedure for a variety of investigations,and does not necessarily imply guilt or suspicion of criminalactivity. An ankle monitor sends a radio frequency signalcontaining location and other information to a receiver. Itallows for freedom of movement and is a positive alternativeto confinement during a pending investigation," the US Embassyhere said in a statement.

It said the the US government welcomes all legitimatestudents wishing to study there and strongly encouragesprospective students to protect themselves from predatory visafraud rings and fraudulent document vendors. .

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