Asks authorities not to victimise students of the University of Northern Virginia accused of fraud

With memories of Indian students being radio tagged after the closure of the Tri-Valley University (TVU) fresh in mind, New Delhi has asked U.S. authorities not to victimise Indian students of another university that was recently raided on charges of fraud.

“The U.S. authorities are taking steps to provide necessary information to help students transfer to other educational institutions in the U.S. or go back to their home countries,'' said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) about the University of Northern Virginia (UNVA), which like TVU has a preponderance of Indian students.

“We have been told that the focus of American investigations is not on students but on UNVA itself. UNVA would not be shut down immediately,'' tweeted MEA spokesperson Vishnu Prakash. “We have impressed upon the U.S. authorities the need to ensure that Indian students at UNVA are not victimised since they all have valid documents,'' he said in another tweet.

In January, the California-based TVU was shut down on charges of immigration fraud. The worst-hit diaspora was that of the Indians who formed 90 per cent of the total enrolment. In this case too, Indians are said to form an equally large section of the student population.

The UNV campus was raided on Wednesday by officials from various federal agencies, including Immigration and FBI, on the charges of fraud.

“We understand that the U.S. immigration authorities [ICE] served a notice of intent yesterday [Thursday] on the UNVA to withdraw its authorisation. However the University would not be shut down immediately but would be given a one month notice for explanation,'' said an MEA statement. “The Ministry and our Mission in Washington are closely following the developments and are in the process of obtaining all details in the matter.''