HYDERABAD: Eighteen more students from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh returned Hyderabad today after being deported by the American authorities.
The students, who had gone to the US to join various universities, were sent back from New York airport after cancelling their visas. They returned to Hyderabad airport by three different airlines.
They complained of interrogation and ill-treatment by the officials of US Customs and Border Protection at John F Kennedy Airport International Airport, though all their documents were valid.
The students said they were detained for several hours without drinking water and food.
One of the students said though it was freezing temperature, the officials did not heed to their request to switch off the fans. He said the officers carrying guns subjected them to interrogation.
They said the officials threatened to bar their entry into US for five years, if they fail to withdraw and return home.
The students claimed that no reason was given for not sending them back, though they gave satisfactory reply to all the questions asked and despite possessing all valid documents.
"One officer said he was doing this on the boss' order," said a student, who did not wish to be named.
Another student who had gone to join Northwestern Polytechnic University, California said the officers told him that there is a problem with his visa. "They asked me if I bought the visa," he said.
The student was told that if he wanted he could apply again for admission into another university and come back.
Students, who had taken admissions in other universities, were also sent back. The officials were not convinced when students pointed out that the institutions were not blacklisted by the US authorities.
This is the latest in a series of incidents in recent months in which students from the two Telugu states were sent back either after landing in the US or from destinations enroute like Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
About 90 students, who had left after completing all formalities including admission letters from the universities, were sent back during last three to four months.
As many as 14 students, who had taken admission at two California universities, were sent back from San Francisco on December 19. The next day Air India stopped another batch of 15 students from boarding the San Francisco flight at Hyderabad airport.
With their dreams of getting higher education in US shattered and their parents suffering huge financial loss, they have urged the government of India to intervene and save their future.