New Delhi, Feb 02(Agencies): Two Indian students of Tri Valley University (TVU) conned by a "sham" American university and forced to wear radio tags were sent to a US detention centre after they complained about the movement monitoring device tied to their legs.

The two students of the now-shut California-based Tri Valley University, whose identity is not known immediately, would be released only after they furnish a bond of USD 8,000 to 20,000, according to information.

Earlier in the day, the Indian government lodged a strong protest with the US Embassy here over certain "unacceptable" comments made by an American official on tagging of Indian students in California after which the Embassy expressed regrets.

US Deputy Chief of Mission Donald Lu expressed regrets over the comments by Juliet Wur, Public Affairs Officer at the US Consulate in Hyderabad, when Jawed Ashraf, Joint Secretary (Americas) in the External Affairs Ministry, called him, sources said.
 
Wur had told reporters in Hyderabad that tagging was a "hip and happening" thing and wondered why Indians were agitated over it.

 

Duped students ignore red flags 

Even as Indian missions in the US are making all out efforts to help hundreds of students caught up in an immigration scam by a sham university, diplomats acknowledge that most of them ignored several red flags.

Officially the Indian stand seems to be that the duped Indian students of Tri Valley University in Pleasanton, California, came to the US with valid travel documents and followed due procedure in changing their visa status in transfer to the university.

The Director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) has spoken to Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar and the embassy has also taken up the matter of ankle monitors that some 18 students have been forced to wear with the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security.

But Washington has rejected New Delhi's demand for the removal of ankle bracelets saying "this is widespread across the United States and standard procedure for a variety of investigations. It does not necessarily imply guilt or suspicion of criminal activity,"

The Indian missions are also organizing free legal aid clinics for the students.

But except for a "small number" of students who are under investigation, the choice before other duped students is essentially to get admission in another recognised institution or accept voluntary deportation and apply afresh for a student visa through a real school.