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India calls for dignified treatment of students detained in US, gets consular access to 117

File photo Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 05, 2019, 09.17 PM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

India has gained consular access to 117 students, out of a total of 129 individuals, detained by the United States on charges of exploiting the US visa system by taking admission in a fake "university". The fake "university" was set up by the US Department of Homeland Security in Farmington Hills, Michigan to nab 8 people involved in a scam.

Indian embassy and consulate officials visited 36 different detention sites across the US to meet the students. Consular access to the remaining students is expected to be granted soon. The Indian mission has already set up a 24/7 helpline to help the detained Indian students. 

India is in touch with US authorities both at the "federal and local level" and has called for a "humane and dignified treatment of the Indian students and custom-sensitive dietary and living arrangement for them during the period of their detention".

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In a release issued on Tuesday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, "Government of India continues to attach high priority to the well-being of the detained students and will remain constantly engaged with the US authorities and other stakeholders to address the issue".

The US State Department had said that all the detained students "knew that the University of Farmington had no instructors or classes" and were aware they were "committing a crime in an attempt to fraudulently remain in the United States".

The detained individuals have been placed in removal proceedings by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which means they will be deported to India.

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The detained individuals have been placed in removal proceedings by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which means they will be deported to India.