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Sibal seeks apology from US over Wurr's comments on radio collars

February 2, 2011 - New Delhi

Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday demanded an apology from the United States over the recent comments on radio collars made by Juliet Wurr, a public affairs officer with the American consulate in Hyderabad.

Sibal said the United States must apologise for its official's comments over the radio anklets attached on Indian students of the California-based Tri-Valley University, which was closed down by the US authorities for alleged visa fraud.

Speaking at the annual General meeting of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Sibal expressed dissatisfaction at Wurr's statement, and said: "I am absolutely disturbed by the comments that I heard yesterday on television. But I do believe that on reflection the lady, who made those comments should, in all fairness, apologise."

Sibal further said the Ministry of External Affairs is taking up the matter with appropriate authorities.

Juliet Wurr had described the radio collars as trendy and said that the only other option these students had was to wear jump suits and remain in prison.

"Those anklets are used when you have somebody who might flee. And so you give them the choice-would you go to the prison or would you like an anklet? The anklets are very hip and happening. Many of our movie stars caught in drunken driving or else choose the anklets than sitting in orange suit in a prison," Wurr had said.

Overseas Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi on Sunday criticized the U.S. authorities for their inhuman treatment of radio tagging of duped Indian students involved in the Tri-valley row and assured a probe into the matter.

Ravi said he is in constant touch with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, over the issue and also is in touch with Indian embassy in Washington.

He added that strict action would be taken if agents in Andhra Pradesh, from where most of the students had gone to study in the closed Tri-Valley University, were found guilty in issuing fraud Visas.


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