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Deaths near Canada-US border leave Gujarat man worried about migrant kin, says unable to contact

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Google Oneindia News

Ahmedabad, Jan 24: A man from Dingucha village in Gujarat's Gandhinagar district on Sunday said he and kin were worried over reports of a family of four freezing to death while attempting to cross the US-Canada border as he was unable to establish contact with his family members who recently left for Canada.

 Deaths near Canada-US border leave Gujarat man worried about migrant kin, says unable to contact

The family was anxious over reports of a family of four, including a baby, believed to be Gujaratis, dying from exposure to extreme cold weather along the US-Canada border in what authorities of those countries believe was a failed crossing attempt during a freezing blizzard.

Gandhinagar Collector Kuldeep Arya told PTI he has learnt about a family from Dingucha village going to Canada on a valid visa, but has not received any information regarding the deceased, or if they belonging to this village.

There has been no official communication from either the Ministry of External Affairs or Union Home Ministry over this either, Arya added.

A cousin of one Jagdish Patel, who recently left for Canada along with his wife and two children, said the family in Gujarat's Kalol taluka is worried as they remain out of contact at present.

"We are extremely worried after coming across news reports of four members of a family dying while attempting to cross the US-Canada border. My cousin recently left for Canada with his wife and two children, and we have not been able to talk to them since the last three-four days," Jaswant Patel told reporters. He said the Central government must give details about the deceased.

Meanwhile, expressing grief over the report of the death of a family of four, believed to be Gujaratis, while attempting to cross the US-Canada border, former state deputy chief minister Nitin Patel said that lack of opportunities in India make people migrate to the US, Canada and Australia in large numbers.

"Why do people go to the US, Canada and Australia? Because there is a lack of opportunity here (India/Gujarat). They don't find jobs despite working hard. This is why they spend huge amounts of money and take a lot of risk to migrate to the US," Patel said, while addressing a gathering at an event of the Patidar community. He said once Gujaratis reach the US, they do not need to worry because of the presence of a large number of people from the state there, but "their main concern is to the cross the border".

The senior BJP leader claimed the deceased were members of the Patidar community and questioned as to how such a "tragic incident" occurred. "Here (in Gujarat/India) there is lack of opportunity, the future is not bright. Despite working and studying hard, people do not get proper position," he further said.

A family of four Indian nationals were found frozen to death just inside the Canadian side of the International border with the US as they reportedly attempted to cross over illegally. A complaint filed over the incident said those believed to be in the same group spoke Gujarati and most had limited knowledge of English.

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