Gujarat village of Dingucha mourns family frozen to death on Canada-US border: The Tribune India


Ahmedabad, January 29

Shops remained closed and the streets were deserted in Dingucha village in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar district on Saturday as villagers paid their respects to four members of a family, who froze to death near the border Canadian-American recently.

Villagers shared the grief of the local Patel family, who lost their four members, including two children, by suspending work and rolling down the shutters of shops in the market area, said an official in the village, located about 40 km. from Ahmedabad.

The village, from where significant numbers of people have migrated overseas, mostly to the United States, Canada and Australia in recent decades, looked deserted on Saturday, residents said. The majority of the local residents belong to the Patidar community.

Initially, the village was not prepared to believe that the four people, including a baby, who died at the US-Canada border belonged to Baldevbhai Patel’s family, they said. However, they later accepted the harsh fact that the deceased was his son Jagdish Patel (39), daughter-in-law Vaishali (37), granddaughter Vihangi (11) and grandson Dharmik (3 years), after Canadian authorities confirmed their identities.

Following confirmation of their identity, relatives and local women gathered at the Patel family ancestral home in Dingucha on Friday to mourn the dead.

According to Canadian authorities, the Patel family had arrived in Toronto on January 12, 2022. From there they traveled to Manitoba and eventually Emerson around January 18, a day before their tragic deaths near the border due to a exposure to extreme conditions. weather situation.

Relatives said on Friday that the bodies of the four deceased would not be brought back to India. “The whole family is in shock… At this time we have all decided not to bring the bodies here for cremation. The final rites will take place in Canada itself,” said Jaswant Patel, a cousin of the late Jagdish Patel.

Earlier, Gujarat Police had also received reports of the disappearance of two other families from the state, comprising two couples and two children. They had become untraceable after reaching Turkey on a visitor’s visa earlier this month. But after investigation, the police had confirmed that the two couples were safe and sound and staying in a hotel in Turkey.

Meanwhile, the state’s Crime Investigation Department (CID) has launched a separate investigation into the possibility of illegal immigration rackets being run by agents. Earlier this week, the state’s CID-Crime Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) was tasked with unearthing the network of active agents in Gujarat.

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