Rome: Three IIT students on a trip to Italy were wrongfully detained on Thursday by the police in Ventimiglia town in country’s northern part near the French-Italian border. The students were released hours later after the Indian mission in Rome intervened.
Akshit Goyal and Deepak Bhatt, from IIT Delhi and Uday Kusupati from IIT Bombay were visiting Italy as tourists and carrying valid passports with Schengen visas. After being detained at Ventimiglia railway station, the three students were flown along with other detainees to Bari, a town almost a 1,000 km away in south of Italy.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said Italian authorities have admitted it was a “mistake” on their part to detain the three as their documents were in order. He said Indian Mission has taken up the issue with the Italian authorities strongly.
The Indian Mission in Rome came to know of the incident from a relative of Akshit and contacted Italy’s Ministry of Interior Affairs and police authorities in Ventimiglia, Mr Swarup said.
The students were first brought to Indian Embassy in Rome on May 31 and then the mission made arrangements for their onward journey to Nice in France the same day where they are enrolled for an internship programme at a university, Mr Swarup said.
“The embassy has strongly raised the issues with the Italian authorities and is in touch with them to ensure that adequate steps are taken to ensure that such unfortunate incidents involving Indian nationals do not recur,” he said.