New Delhi, first published Jan 22, 2022, 3:19 p.m. IST
New Delhi: The Indian Embassy in the United States sent a consular team to Minneapolis, where a group of Indian nationals were detained after entering US territory without the proper documents.
Sources within the government establishment said, “The Consulate and Embassy in Washington DC are also in contact with the US Department of Justice and US Customs and Border Patrol.”
“The Consulate General of India in Chicago has urgently dispatched a consular team to Minneapolis who are currently coordinating and providing consular assistance,” they said.
On January 19, US authorities in the state of Minnesota, near the Canada-US border, encountered a group of people who were apparently crossing the border without proper documentation.
Based on information obtained from them, “Canadian authorities launched a search and found four bodies in the province of Manitoba, on the Canadian side of the border.”
These four people (a man, a woman, a teenager, an infant) seemed to have succumbed to the cold.
According to the sources, those without proper documentation on the US side, as well as the deceased on the Canadian side, appear to be Indian nationals.
Also read: Four Indians, including a baby and a teenager, freeze to death near the Canada-US border
“The autopsy of the victims will probably be carried out on January 24,” they said.
In total, seven people without valid papers were arrested. Among them, an American citizen was also detained for being involved in human smuggling activities from Canada to the United States.
“One of them is still hospitalized with cold-related injuries (previously another person was hospitalized),” they said.
The Consulate General of India in Toronto immediately dispatched a consular team to Manitoba, which is now liaising with local authorities to provide any consular assistance regarding the four deceased persons.
“The Consulate General as well as the High Commission in Ottawa are also in contact with Canadian provincial and federal authorities to find out the details of this tragedy,” they said.
On Friday, Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar asked Indian ambassadors to the United States and Canada to respond to the incident.
In a tweet, Jaishankar said, “Shocked by the report that 4 Indian nationals including a baby lost their lives at the Canada-US border. Asked our ambassadors in the United States and Canada to respond urgently to the situation.
India’s High Commissioner to Canada, Ajay Bisaria, called the incident a “grave tragedy”.
Last updated Jan 22, 2022 3:19 PM IST