New Delhi, (Agencies): An American official on Tuesday earned criticism by describing the tagging of Indian students in California as "hip and happening", prompting an angry government to register a strong protest with the US Embassy over the remarks, which expressed regrets.

"Those anklets are used when you have somebody who might flee. And so you give them the choice -- would you go to the prison or would you like an anklet. The anklets are very hip and happening. Many of our movie stars caught in drunken driving or else choose the anklets than sitting in orange suit in a prison," said Juliet Wur, Public Affairs Officer at the
US Consulate in Hyderabad.

She said the anklets were "hot and trendy" and added "I don't know why people are getting upset about this. I am not speaking for the way Indians feel about something. They may
have their own reasons for feeling that. I see it differently."

Soon after her comments, Jawed Ashraf, Joint Secretary (Americas) in the External Affairs
Ministry, called US Deputy Chief of Mission Donald Lu and told him that the comments were in bad taste and "unacceptable", sources said.

Later, Lu expressing regrets over such comments said she has been asked to publicly apologise, the sources said.

University blames its Indian staffer

The institute has claimed that one of its Indian-origin staff was responsible for the immigration fraud, totally shifting blame from its shoulders.

Breaking its silence, the California-based university, which was shut last month, called it as "baseless" the allegations of immigration fraud against the institute and claimed that it had not duped any student.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) brought "this baseless allegation and put a red-tape in the school operation for a federal investigation, causing hundreds of students to withdraw from classes (and) many instructors requested to quit teaching for the current term.

"Also, it caused a profitable university operation to quickly sink into negative in financial debt," Susan Su, President and founder of the TVU, said in an e-mail to a news agency.

"Starting in April, one of student assistants Anji Reddy, who worked in TVU administrative office, teamed with another student Ram Krista Karra, who also has a consultant company,
conducting a large cheating scheme by asking students to make tuition payment into Ram Krista Karra's personal account in exchange for student I-20 and CPT approval. TVU has fired these two individuals," the e-mail said.