Indian students of TVU would be given fair treatment

Washington: The US has assured India that hundreds of Indian students affected by the closure of a California-based "sham" university would be given "fair and appropriate" treatment and their interests would be carefully considered.

The assurance by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came in the form of a letter to Indian Ambassador to the US, Meera Shankar.

"In the letter, Clinton emphasised that the US is proud to host over 100,000 Indian students in the United States and hopes to increase the numbers in the years ahead," Shankar told reporters.

Following the telephonic conversation between Clinton and External Affairs Minister S M Krishna early this month, Shankar had conveyed on February 14 to the Secretary of State details of Indian students of the Tri Valley University in California, expressing India`s concerns on this issue.

In her letter dated February 22, Clinton said that the Department of State is following the case closely and working with the Department of Homeland Security and government of India to ensure fair and appropriate treatment of the students, she said.

"Please be assured that their interests and the interest of all Indian students in the United States would be carefully considered," Clinton said, according to Shankar who effectively took up the matter with the State Department and other agencies of the US government, including the Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE).

Nearly 1,500 Indian students were affected by the closure of the Tri Valley University on charges of massive visa fraud.

As many as 18 Indian students were radio tagged, which Krishna termed 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 San Francisco.

Shankar said as of now, nearly 700 of the about 1,500 Tri Valley University students` cases are being processed for transfer to other universities.

India would be satisfied when all the cases are fully resolved and students are not in a position of uncertainty.

"We continue to monitor this on a regular basis and are in touch with the authorities on this issue," she said.