Lalit K Jha
Washington, Feb 26 (PTI) The US has assured India thathundreds of Indian students affected by the closure of aCalifornia-based "sham" university would be given "fair andappropriate" treatment and their interests would be carefullyconsidered.
The assurance by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton camein the form of a letter to Indian Ambassador to the US, MeeraShankar.
"In the letter, Clinton emphasised that the US is proudto host over 100,000 Indian students in the United States andhopes to increase the numbers in the years ahead," Shankartold reporters.
Following the telephonic conversation between Clinton andExternal Affairs Minister S M Krishna early this month,Shankar had conveyed on February 14 to the Secretary of Statedetails of Indian students of the Tri Valley University inCalifornia, expressing India''s concerns on this issue.
In her letter dated February 22, Clinton said that theDepartment of State is following the case closely and workingwith the Department of Homeland Security and government ofIndia to ensure fair and appropriate treatment of thestudents, she said.
"Please be assured that their interests and the interestof all Indian students in the United States would be carefullyconsidered," Clinton said, according to Shankar whoeffectively took up the matter with the State Department andother agencies of the US government, including the Immigrationand Custom Enforcement (ICE).
Nearly 1,500 Indian students were affected by the closureof the Tri Valley University on charges of massive visa fraud.
As many as 18 Indian students were radio tagged, which Krishnatermed as inhuman.
Yesterday, radio tag from one more student was removed,thus taking their total to 12.
Decision on three students would be taken next Tuesday,said Susmita Gongulee Thomas, Consul General of India in SanFrancisco.
Shankar said as of now, nearly 700 of the about 1,500 TriValley University students'' cases are being processed fortransfer to other universities.
India would be satisfied when all the cases are fullyresolved and students are not in a position of uncertainty.
"We continue to monitor this on a regular basis and arein touch with the authorities on this issue," she said. PTILKJ