Wed, 18 May 2022

Washington [US], January 21 (ANI): Indian ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, on Friday, informed that they are in touch with the American authorities over the loss of four Indian nationals near the Canada-US border.

He said that a consular team from Chicago is travelling to Minnesota to coordinate and provide any assistance required.

"An unfortunate and tragic incident. We are in touch with US authorities on their ongoing investigation. A consular team from @IndiainChicago is travelling today to Minnesota to coordinate and provide any assistance required," tweeted Sandhu.

Earlier, Jaishankar expresses grief over the tragic incident. "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," tweeted S Jaishankar.

Meanwhile, US authorities on Thursday (local time) said that they have arrested a Florida Man for human smuggling after four people, including an infant and a teenage boy, were found dead near the US-Canada border.

They were found dead roughly seven miles from the US-Canada border in the province of Manitoba.

The US attorney's office in Minnesota said officers arrested Steve Shand after they stopped his white rental van on Wednesday less than one mile south of the border. He was driving with two undocumented Indian nationals.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said they believe that the four people, whose bodies were found near the community of Emerson, Manitoba, on Wednesday, were attempting to cross into the United States from Canada and had died of exposure to the cold in a blizzard, during which temperatures fell to minus-31 degrees Fahrenheit.

Shortly after Shand's arrest, US authorities said they encountered five more Indian nationals who claimed they had crossed the border on foot after walking for roughly 11 hours.

They were walking in the direction of where Shand was arrested and said they were expecting to be picked up by someone in the United States, The Washington Post reported.

The US attorney's office in Minnesota said a man in the group was carrying a backpack that he said belonged to a family of four Indian nationals that had been walking with them but had become separated at some point during the journey across the border. The backpack contained children's clothes and toys, among other items.

After a nearly four hour search, the RCMP found four bodies on the Canadian side of the border. The US attorney's office in Minnesota said they were "tentatively" identified as the family of four that was separated from the rest of the group. (ANI)

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