Press Trust of india

India seeks consular access to its students detained in the US

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New Delhi, Feb 1 : India has sought consular access to its students detained by the US authorities and has impressed upon the Trump administration the need to address the situation at the earliest, the external affairs ministry said on Friday.

Asserting that the government was according the "highest priority" to the situation arising out of the detention of Indian students in the US, External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India has also highlighted that a distinction should be made between those involved in recruiting or enrolling students and students who have been duped or defrauded in the process.

One-hundred-thirty foreign students arrested by US authorities for enroling at a fake university allegedly to remain in the US are largely Indians. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents made the arrests on Wednesday.

"As soon as we received the information regarding their detention, our mission contacted the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security requesting for a list of the detained students along with relevant identity details, the place of their detention, etc," he said.

He said the government together with Indian Mission in Washington and the Indian Consulates in the US were according the highest priority to the situation arising out of the detention of Indian students in the US.

"We have placed a formal request for consular access, emphasizing that the request may be taken as very high priority. We have highlighted that a distinction should be made between those involved in recruiting or enrolling students and students who have been duped or defrauded in the process," Kumar said.

"Our Mission and Posts are ready to render all assistance to Indian students in the US to deal with the emerging situation. We have also involved Indian community organizations in reaching out to the students," Kumar said, adding India is monitoring the situation closely.

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