US diplomat apologises for radio tag comment

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

HYDERABAD - An official at the US consulate here late Tuesday apologised for her comment made earlier that the radio ankle monitors on Indian students stuck in the US following closure of a sham university should be seen as “hep”.

Juliet Wurr, who handles public affairs at the US Consulate, was made to apologise after the Indian government lodged a complaint with US deputy chief of mission in New Delhi.

The official had told NDTV earlier Tuesday that 18 students being made to wear ankle bracelets should choose to see it as a bang-on-trend moment. “Let me tell you they are very hep and happening because many of our movie stars and celebrities choose the anklets rather than sitting in a red jumpsuit in prison,” the channel quoted her as saying.

“It’s funny people getting upset about this. I don’t know about your servants…but my servant has big heavy silver anklets…that look a heck of a lot more uncomfortable and binding.”

Her insensitive remark sparked an uproar and the Indian government lodged a formal complaint with the US Deputy Chief of Mission Donald Lu.

“I apologise deeply because I would never want to insult or hurt the feelings of any Indian, particularly young people who are going through a very trying time now in this situation,” Wurr said Tuesday night after she was asked to apologise.

Over 1,500 Indian students, majority of them from Andhra Pradesh, are facing an uncertain future after Tri-Valley University in California was shut down for violation of visa rules.

The students face the danger of being deported and the US authorities have radio tagged some of them to track them, evoking protest from the Indian government.

Filed under: Diplomacy

will not be displayed