Ensure UNVA students are not victimised: India to US

New Delhi: With American authorities raiding a university in North Virginia on charges of fraud, New Delhi has asked the US to ensure that the students, 90 per cent of whom are Indians, are not victimised in any manner as they all have valid documents.

Noting that the university will not be closed immediately and will be given a month`s notice to explain, Ministry of External Affairs said, "It is further understood that there will not be a mass termination of University of Northern Virginia (UNVA) students SEVIS records.

"The US authorities are taking steps to provide necessary information to help the students transfer to other educational institutions in the US or go back to their home countries.

"We have impressed upon the US authorities the need to ensure that the students are not victimised in any manner, since they all have valid documents. We have been told that the focus of investigations is not on the students but on UNVA itself."

The Annandale campus of UNV was raided on Wednesday by officials from various federal agencies, including Immigration and FBI on the charges of fraud.

"We understand that the US immigration authorities (ICE) served a notice of intent yesterday, on the UNVA to withdraw its authorisation. However the University would not be shut down immediately but would be given a one month notice for explanation," the MEA said, adding ICE has kept the Indian Embassy briefed, as a very large percentage of the 2,400 UNVA students are from India.

MEA and the Mission in Washington are closely following the developments and are in the process of obtaining all details in the matter, the Ministry`s official spokesperson said.

This is the second incident in last seven months. In January, US authorities raided and shut down Tri-Valley University in California on charges of massive immigration fraud, leaving over a thousand Indian students` fate hanging.