Ahmedabad: The Gujarat Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is probing whether the four members of a family from the state who froze to death while trying to cross into the US illegally from Canada had taken the help of local agents, an official said on Tuesday.
The CID has approached the Indian immigration authorities for obtaining information, he said.
The state authorities have not confirmed the identities of the deceased. But some reports have claimed that they were Jagdish Patel, his wife, and their two children, hailing from Dingucha village in Kalol taluka of Gujarat’s Gandhinagar district.
Some media reports also claimed that local agents had sent several such families to the United States via Canada and some of the families went missing during illegal border crossing.
The four members of the family from Dingucha apparently died due to exposure to extreme cold conditions on the US-Canada border.
Gujarat Director General of Police Ashish Bhatia has asked the anti-human trafficking unit the CID to probe the role of local agents.
”Though there were reports that these agents had sent many others, we are yet to verify the claims. It is yet to be known how many people were sent by the agents,” said Additional DGP, CID, Anil Pratham.
The probe has been handed over to S M Chaudhary, Assistant Commissioner of Police, CID.
Even the relatives of the family back in the village were not aware if the deceased had taken the help of agents for traveling to Canada on a tourist visa, said ACP Chaudhary.
”Preliminary investigation suggested that this man and his family reached Canada on a valid tourist visa. But to verify this, I have sent a letter to the immigration authorities to get the details,” he added.