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No Fear No Favour

Identities of unknown Indian family found dead near Canada-US border is verified!

The four members of an Indian family found dead near the US-Canada border a few days ago have been identified as residents of Dingucha village in Kalol tehsil of Gandhinagar, authorities said on Friday morning.

The family was allegedly trying to enter the US illegally when they froze to death in the Manitoba province of Canada, near the US Canada border, on January 19.

According to a statement released by the High Commission of India, Ottawa, the four have been identified as Jagdish Patel (39), his wife Vaishali  Patel (37) their daughter Vihangi Patel (11), and their son Dharmik Patel (3).

Earlier, authorities had said that the family included an adult male, adult female, teen male and infant. But it has now revealed the victims included a young girl and not a teen male.

Jagdish, the head of the family, worked as a schoolteacher in the past and had switched to running different businesses in Kalol city. The family has a one-storey house in Dingucha, which remains locked as Jagdish’s father Baldev Patel has also left the village. The family had travelled to Canada a fortnight ago on a visitor’s VISA, authorities said.

on January 24 , a family of four from Dingucha village in Kalol, fitting the description of those found dead in Canada, has been missing for the past week after they travelled from Dingucha to Canada.

“Further to the report of the tragic death of four people including an infant, whose bodies were recovered near the Canada US border in Manitoba on January 19, 2022, the Canadian authorities have confirmed the identities of the four deceased as Indian nationals. The next of the kin of the deceased have been informed. The Consulate General of India in Toronto is in touch with the family of the deceased and is providing all consular support. The High Commission offers its sincerest to the family and friends of the victims,” read a statement from the High Commission of India in Ottawa.

“Canadian authorities, have also after medical examination, informed that based on the circumstances, the death of all the persons have been determined to be consistent with exposure to outdoor elements. The High Commission of India in Ottawa and our Consulate in Toronto continue to work closely with Canadian authorities on all aspects of investigation into this incident. A special team, led by a senior consular officer, from the Consulate General of India in Toronto, is camping in Manitoba to assist ongoing investigation by Canadian agencies and to render any consular services for the victims,” it added.

On January 19, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) had discovered the four bodies, frozen to death, near Emerson town in Canada. On the same day, law enforcement agencies had arrested a US based man steve, for allegedly illegally trying to ferry two undocumented Indian nationals in his vehicle.

Five more undocumented Indian nationals who had allegedly tried to infiltrate the border were detained by American authorities inside the US. These seven people and the four people found dead are believed to be from the same group, authorities said.

By line: Divya Thearia

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