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Akshit Goyal and Deepak Bhatt
Image: Twitter

Three IIT students were detained by Italian police in North Italy’s Ventimiglia town on Monday during checking for illegal immigrants but were released hours later following the intervention of the Indian mission in Rome.

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.

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.

After they were detained at Ventimiglia railway station, the three IITians were flown along with other detainees to Bari, a town almost a 1000 km away in south of Italy.

Swarup said the Indian Mission in Rome, after coming to know of the incident from a relative of Akshit, swung into action and contacted Italy’s Ministry of Interior Affairs and police authorities in Ventimiglia. After around 10 hours, the three students were released.

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, 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.