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Family Found Frozen to Death Along US-Canada Border Hailed From Gujarat Village

Seven persons have been detained by the US authorities and one person has been arrested in the case.

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India
2 min read
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Edited By :Saundarya Talwar

The family of four Indians, including an infant, that froze to death on the Canadian side of the United States-Canada border on Wednesday, 19 January, is learnt to be from a village in the Kalol tehsil of the Gandhinagar district in Gujarat.

As per reports, the family was on its route to cross into the US and was apparently part of a human smuggling operation. Meanwhile, seven persons have been detained by the US authorities and one person has been arrested.

In Gandhinagar, District Collector Kuldeep Arya was quoted as saying, “This is an unfortunate incident which we got to know only through the media and there is no official communication yet. In case there is any communication from the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs), we will facilitate at our level”, Indian Express reported.

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Complaint Filed in Minnesota Court

In a criminal complaint filed in a Minnesota court, John D Stanley, Special Agent with the US Department of Homeland Security, was quoted as saying, “I learned that all the foreign nationals spoke Gujarati, a language spoken in Gujarat in western India. Most had limited or no English language speaking ability. I also know that there are significant Gujarati populations outside of India, including in Canada and the United States”.

The complaint is against 47-year-old Steve Shand for smuggling the group of Indians into the US from Canada. Stanley said two Indians were caught with Shand, while five others were also arrested from nearby Pembina, North Dakota.

The group of five had reportedly been walking for 11 hours and was expecting to be picked up by someone. One of them possessed a backpack that he was carrying for the family of four, but the group had separated from each other during the night.

Further, Stanley added, “One of the Indian nationals provided limited information to Border Patrol…he reported that he paid a significant amount of money to enter Canada from India under fraudulently obtained student visa. He did not intend to study in Canada but rather illegally to enter the United States”, Indian Express reported.

(With inputs from The Indian Express.)

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Edited By :Saundarya Talwar
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