India has strongly taken up the matter of 14 Indian students being deported from the US where they had gone to join two universities.
"We have seen reports regarding deportation of Indian students from San Francisco," external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said in a statement on Tuesday.
"As per information available with us, the deportations have taken place due to denial of entry to these students by US immigration authorities," he said.
"Air India has acted as per the advice of US authorities. We have strongly taken up the matter with the US government both in the US and in Delhi. We are closely following up the matter with the aim of resolving it at the earliest."
The 14 students reportedly went to take admission in Silicon Valley University in San Jose, California, and North Western Polytechnic College in Fremont, California.
Air India, in an earlier statement, said it received a communication on December 19 from the US Customs and Border Protection agency that the two universities were under scrutiny and the students who arrived in San Francisco were not allowed to enter the US and were deported back to India.
"So far, 14 students who travelled on Air India flights to San Francisco have been deported," the Air India statement said.
"Students travel on a one-way ticket to the US and in the event of deportation, the student incurs huge expenditure to buy a ticket back to India on first available service. Further, seats are often not available on any airlines to travel back."
On Sunday, Air India stopped 19 students headed for these two institutions from boarding its flight to San Francisco.
"In considering the situation, as a precautionary measure and to avoid inconvenience, students booked for travel to take admission to these universities are not being accepted on Air India flights," the Air India statement said.
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