Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday assured External Affairs Minister S M Krishna that the issue of Indian students enrolled in the Tri Valley University would receive her promptest attention and that 'justice' would be done in the matter.
Clinton gave the assurance in the matter during a 40-minute telephonic conversation with the visiting Indian minister, a high-level Indian source said. The issue of the allegedly tainted TVU figured prominently in Krishna's conversation, who urged Clinton to personally intervene in the matter.
Clinton has asked Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar to meet her on Monday and provide all the details, the source said, adding this will be followed up with her meeting with Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao on Tuesday.
"She (Clinton) has ensured that justice will be done to the Indian students," the source told PTI.
According to a federal complaint filed in a California court in January, the university helped foreign nationals illegally acquire immigration status. Of the 1,555 students in the university, 95 per cent are Indian nationals, the complaint said. Most of the Indian students are from Andhra Pradesh.
Krishna told Clinton that these students who came on legal visas stood to lose out academically and financially. They should be allowed time to find another university to transfer to before being deported, he said,
"Our guys have been cheated," is the sentiment Krishna put across to Clinton, according to sources.
Recently, 18 students in California were radio-tagged by ICE as part of their investigation against TVU.
Ankle monitors send a radio frequency signal containing the location of the wearer and other information to a receiver. So far, two students have been de-tagged. The Indian minister, according to sources, also said that the radio-tagging of students was unacceptable. Clinton reportedly assured Krishna that the radio-tags would be removed in the next 15 days.
Clinton and Krishna also discussed her upcoming visit to New Delhi for the Indo-US strategic dialogue and the recent events in Egypt.
Investigations by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement have found that while students were admitted to various residential and online courses of the university and on paper lived in California, in reality they 'illegally' worked in various parts of the country like Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Krishna met 30 of these students on Saturday. Many of them said they are stuck in the US without any concrete plan to get out of their dilemma and need help from the government.
Noting that the situation was very complex, Susmita Gongulee Thomas, the consul general of the Indian consulate in San Francisco, warned on Saturday that the students of the TVU were in for a 'long haul'.