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Cong asks US to release Telugu students detained in the US

ANI | Updated: Feb 14, 2019 23:46 IST

Hyderabad (Telangana), [India], Feb 14 (ANI): Congress on Thursday demanded an immediate release of students hailing from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana who have been detained in the US on charges of taking admissions into University of Farmington.
In an open letter to US Consul General in Hyderabad Katherine B Hadda, All India Congress Committee (AICC) spokesperson Dasoju Sravan said that hundreds of students belonging to the Telugu states had fallen victim to a trap laid by the US Home Land Security itself.
"These students were deliberately lured by University of Farmington, a fake university, to taking admission by making them believe that they can start earning by working as soon as they join the college and that they need not attend classes and engage in off-campus practical work," he said.
The Congress leader said that the students if they have committed any mistake, it is purely out of their ignorance of the law and more importantly due to the unawareness of the antecedents of the University of Farmington. They apparently seem to have believed that the University of Farmington being established by the US government’s agency would not be a fraudulent university.
"In any case, ignorance of the law is no bliss, however, the young students are in pursuit of their higher education and better career and it is pertinent to note that they are neither habitual criminals not perennial violators of the law.
"They have no intention to cause any harm to the USA and indulge in violating federal law. In fact, by working part-time, the students have contributed to the growth of the USA’s economy. Hence, It is unjustified to punish for an unproven alleged crime and it is against the principles of natural justice to not even grant them bail by posting a bond," Sravan said.
"It has been nearly two weeks, the unfortunate incident of student detention took place, neither the students are being produced in the USA courts nor they are being allowed to post a bond and get released. They are being punished much before the crime is proved in the courts of law. These students belong to middle-class families whose parents are teachers, farmers and small business owners. They have put their lifetime earnings for sending their children for the quality of education and better career," the letter added.
Dr Sravan alleged that the students were being subjected to severe harassment and being deprived of even quality food. As a result, most of the students seem to have lost their body weight and suffering from serious illness. 
"Due to the ill-treatment and intimidation, most of the students seem to be emotionally depressed with intense mental agony and if this situation further worsens, they may be subjected to unwanted psychological disorders.
"Some of them have their weddings scheduled; some of them have pregnant wives and small children at home. Due to lack of communication and clarity with the detained students, their parents and families back in India are in severe distress and anxious about the consequences and overall future of their wards," he said.
Sravan demanded that the US Consul General engage in a dialogue with US federal government to rescue the students by taking immediate steps. 
He further said immediate measures must be taken to stop the intimidation and ill-treatment in detention centres.
"A special team should be deployed to visit the USA and ensure that they liaison and coordinate with USA federal govt to smoothen the procedure. A communication cell should be set up to provide the latest updates and help the parents to get relieved of their anxiety and mental agony. The students should be assisted to have transitioned back to normal life through necessary financial and legal help."
"In order to avoid these kinds of unfortunate circumstances, as a precautionary measure I request you to help in publishing the list of Universities, which are flagged as fake and fraudulent by the federal government of United States of America," he wrote in the letter.
Sravan has also sent a copy of the letter to Union Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and former IT Minister K Taraka Rama Rao seeking their intervention to get this matter resolved.
Sravan made a special appeal to Telangana Chief Minister to seek the intervention of Ivanka Trump in this matter whose meetings were hoisted before in Telangana. (ANI)