New Delhi: India on Saturday said it had issued a demarche to the American Embassy in New Delhi, expressing concern over the detention of some Indian students in the US and seeking immediate consular access to them.
The foreign ministry in a statement said India continued to closely monitor the situation arising out of the detention of Indian students in connection with their enrollment in a "fraudulent university in the US".
One-hundred-thirty foreign students were arrested by the US authorities for enrolling at a fake university allegedly to remain in the US. News reports said many of them were Indians. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents made the arrests on Wednesday.
"Our concern over the dignity and well-being of the detained students and the need for immediate consular access for Indian officials to the detainees were reiterated," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
A US embassy spokesperson confirmed that the mission has received a demarche from the the external affairs ministry about the detained students.
In its statement, the foreign ministry said it had underlined to the US Embassy that students, who were duped into enrolling in the university should be treated differently from those recruiters who duped them.
"We have urged the US side to share full details and regular updates of students with the government, to release them from detention at the earliest and not to resort to deportation against their will," the statement said.
Diplomats from India’s mission in Washington as well as consulates visited several detention centres in the US to extend consular assistance to the detained students, the statement said.
"So far, about 30 Indian students had been contacted by our consular officers. Efforts to contact the remaining Indian students are continuing."