Deportation row
A girl from Hyderabad has alleged that US immigration officials had handcuffed her and put her behind jail for nine hours when she travelled to the US to join Silicon valley University. Picture: A US Customs and Immigration officer in Otay Mesa, California December 9, 2015. [Representational Image]Reuters

A girl from Hyderabad, who had flown to the United States to join the Silicon Valley University in San Jose, has alleged that the US immigration officials had handcuffed and locked her up before sending her back to India.

The girl, who flew to Dallas on 30 December, was scheduled to take a flight to San Jose, where she had secured admission at Silicon Valley University. The university has been in controversy amid claims that it has been blacklisted.

"In the name of procedure, the officials handcuffed me along with a few other Indian students, made us wear a uniform and put us in a cell with other offenders for over nine hours," Hindustan Times quoted Karunakar, the student, as saying.

"They told me to go back to India as joining such a university would spoil my career. 'Apply for a good university and come back', I was told," she said. She returned to India on Saturday.

Several students have either been deported or barred from flying to the US on the claims that the two universities they are going to join — Silicon Valley University and Northwestern Polytechnic University (NPU) in Fremont — are blacklisted.

At least 200 students have been deported back to Hyderabad alone in the last half month. "We do not maintain the record of those who are stopped here, but those who were sent back would be close to 200," an immigration official at the airport told HT.

Air India had in December barred 19 students from travelling to the US to join the two universities on the ground that they received a communication from the US Customs and Border Protection Agency stating that the two universities do not have accreditation from the US government.

However, the claims have been refuted by the US Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as well as the two universities. The US said the universities are still certified.

The Indian government has asked the US government to "explain the reasons for denial of entry on a large scale to Indian students holding valid visas". The Ministry of External Affairs has also asked the students seeking (or those who have got) admission to the two universities in California to defer travel to the United States.

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