Other States

Rampant Illegal human trafficking from Gujarat to the fore

RCMP officers search the area where a family of four froze to death after crossing the border from the U.S. near Emerson, Manitoba, Canada, in this January 19, 2022 handout photo.

RCMP officers search the area where a family of four froze to death after crossing the border from the U.S. near Emerson, Manitoba, Canada, in this January 19, 2022 handout photo.

The death of a family of four across the U.S.-Canada border while trying to get into the U.S. illegally has once again brought to the surface the rampant human trafficking rackets operating in parts of Gujarat where going to the U.S. or Canada at any cost remains a craze.

The death of Jagdish Patel, his wife Vaishali Patel, their children Gopi and Dharmik who froze in extreme cold has prompted the Gujarat police to launch a probe into the activities of local agents who illegally send families to the U.S. and Canada charging huge sums from them.

Gujarat Police chief Ashish Bhatia has now asked CID (Crime) anti-human trafficking branch to investigate the networks of agents operating in the State.

The family belonged to the Dingucha village in north Gujarat, a region where migrating to U.S. or Canada is a first priority among the Patel community.

According to sources, the family was apparently from a larger group of Indians who were allegedly sent to Canada by the local agents who would then have smuggled them to the U.S. illegally.

Though the Gujarat government has not yet made any official comment on the family, the police has started the probe in the area where the local agents have been luring families to send them abroad.

Accordingly, this family had, as per the local sources, left for Canada in January first week and from there they were to be taken into the U.S. by international agents who operate the trafficking network.

The police believe that probably a large group of people had walked for hours in extremely cold conditions with temperatures hovering around -35°C to the U..S.-Canada border. The Patel family might have lost their way and separated from the large group during the night.

Subsequently, their bodies were found just 10m from the U.S. border on the Canadian side.

On Sunday, Gujarat’s former Deputy Chief Minister and prominent Patidar leader Nitin Patel said that people were leaving from the country in search of better opportunities abroad.

“Since the craze is high to go abroad without a valid visa, there are network of agents who promise them illegal entry by charging huge sums. Unfortunately, no one come forward to file the complaint since it’s entirety illegal,” a police official said.

He added that in Gujarat such network of agents operates in Mehsana and Gandhinagar districts in north Gujarat, Anand and Nadiad in central Gujarat and a few pockets in Saurashtra region from where large number of Patidars have settled in the U.S. and Canada.

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Printable version | May 24, 2022 11:31:55 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rampant-illegal-human-trafficking-from-gujarat-to-the-fore/article38323049.ece