US diplomat''s comments on ankle tagging ''disturbing'': Sibal

New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) HRD Minister Kapil Sibal todaytermed as "disturbing" the comments of a US diplomat callingankle monitors tagged on some Indian students in California as"very hip and happening."

"Comments of the US official (on ankle monitors taggedon some Indian students) are disturbing...," Sibal toldreporters on the sidelines of an Indian Council forAgricultural Research (ICAR) function here.

Juliet Wur, Public Affairs Officer at the US Consulatein Hyderabad, had yesterday said, "Those anklets are used whenyou have somebody who might flee. And so you give them thechoice--would you go to the prison or would you like ananklet. The anklets are very hip and happening. Many of ourmovie stars caught in drunken driving or else choose theanklets than sitting in orange suit in a prison."

Some of the Indian students at the Tri-Valley Universityin California, who are in danger of being deported after thecollege was shut down over alleged visa fraud, are being madeto wear ankle bracelets so that they can be tracked. Thestudents are mostly from Andhra Pradesh.

Wurr had later apologized for the remarks.

"I deeply apologise. Because I would never want toinsult or hurt the feelings of any Indian and particularly ofyoung people who are going through a very trying time now withthis situation. I forgot about the feelings behind that and Ithink people responded when I did not mention that," she hadsaid last night.

Asked about steps taken by the Union HRD ministry onthe issue, Sibal said, "The external affairs ministry islooking into the matter."

Yesterday, he had also appealed the student communityto be "careful" in choosing institutes while going abroad topursue higher studies.

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