4 Indian nationals, including an infant have lost their lives at the Canada-US border
After being abandoned in what looks to be an organised people smuggling operation, our Indian nationals, including a child, died from exposure to extreme weather on the Canadian side of the US border.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Manitoba got “concerning information” from their counterparts on Wednesday morning that the US Customs and Border Protection (USBP) had captured a group of people who had crossed into the US from Canada near the town of Emerson.
According to a press release from the Manitoba RCMP, one of the adults had supplies intended for an infant, but no infant was present with the group.
Shocked by the report that 4 Indian nationals, including an infant have lost their lives at the Canada-US border. Have asked our Ambassadors in the US and Canada to urgently respond to the situation.
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) January 21, 2022
A search began, and four hours later, at about 1.30 p.m. local time, RCMP police discovered the deaths of three people near the town of Emerson on the Canadian side of the border. “Fearing that there might be more victims,” the announcement added, “officers continued their search and discovered the body of an other boy, believed to be in his mid-teens.”
The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota said in a statement that law officials spotted five Indian nationals about a quarter mile south of the Canadian border that day. They explained that they had crossed the border “expecting to be picked up by someone” and that they had “estimated they had been trekking for almost 11 hours.”
One of them was carrying a bag for a family of four Indian nationals “who had walked with his group earlier in the day but had become separated throughout the night.” Children’s clothes, a diaper, toys, and some children’s medication were all in the backpack.”
USBP later got a tip from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that four bodies had been discovered frozen just inside the Canadian side of the international border, according to the release. The bodies were tentatively identified as the split family of four.
US police arrested Steve Shand, a 47-year-old Florida man, for allegedly “smuggling undocumented immigrant nationals.”
The child, a male teenager, an adult male, and an adult female are among the four people who have died. They haven’t been identified yet.
“We are very concerned that this attempted crossing may have been facilitated in some way and that these individuals, including an infant, were left on their own in the middle of a blizzard when the weather hovered around -35°C factoring in the wind,” Manitoba RCMP Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy told the media on Thursday. These victims were confronted not only with the cold, but also with long fields, enormous snowdrifts, and total darkness.”
Vic Rodriguez, Marcos’ chief of staff, praised Twitter for their efforts but cautioned that not all of the accounts belonged to Marcos supporters.