Migrants from India die at the US border: Gujrat

The members of an Indian family whose bodies were discovered in a river marsh near the U.S.-Canada border last week are reportedly still in shock. During Thursday and Friday, authorities discovered eight remains from the St. Lawrence River, including those of four Indians.

Officials suspect the remains belonged to two families of migrants from India and Romania who were attempting to enter the United States. The deceased Indians were named Diksha, 45, wife of Pravin Chaudhary, 50, their daughter Vidhi,24 and their son Meet, 20.  The deceased belonged to the village of Manekpur Dabhala in the western Indian state of Gujarat. Monday, when local sources visited the village, the atmosphere was gloomy.

In the distance, the wails of women could be heard. On Saturday morning, Jasubhai Chaudhary, the cousin of Pravin Chaudhary, became concerned after learning that the bodies of four Indians had been discovered. On February 3, his cousin and his family went to Canada on tourist visas. "I was concerned, so I called him," said Jasubhai Chaudhary. "But he didn't answer." 

The family's suspicions were confirmed when a relative in the United States received an email regarding the fatalities from the Canadian police. While Jasubhai Chaudhary spoke, stunned locals continued to pay him condolences at his home.

A neighbor, Sanju Chaudhary, stated that before Pravin Chaudhary departed, he was doing well. He was a farmer and also delivered milk in tankers to consumers in other areas. According to another neighbor, the family was friendly with everyone in the community and led a "happy and decent life." 

According to Jasubhai Chaudhary, neither he nor his other relatives knew why his cousin and his family were traveling to the United States. He mentioned that as far as he knew they merely traveled to Canada and had no plans to visit the United States.

In January 2022, the bodies of another Gujarati family of four were discovered frozen along the U.S. Canadian border. The Patel family was also suspected of attempting to enter the United States, according to officials. Similarly to the Chaudharys, the Patels appeared to live comfortably in India. In contrast, numerous residents in northern Gujarat told the sources that the locals yearned for a better life abroad, particularly in the United States.

The police in Gujarat have been clamping down on human trafficking networks throughout the state. In February, two agents were detained for aiding the illegal immigration of four individuals. A team is also investigating the circumstances surrounding the killings of the Patel family and has arrested a number of individuals.

In January, the US Border Patrol captured 367 individuals attempting to cross from north to south near Montreal - more than in the previous 12 years combined. India's police have informed sources that they will not examine the Chaudharys' killings until Canadian police approach the Indian government or a new development occurs in the inquiry there.

According to local deputy superintendent of police, Dinesh Sinh Chauhan, the deceased were in possession of a valid passport and visa when they left for Canada. Hence, there is nothing to investigate. Jasubhai Chaudhary claims he has reached out to the district collector for assistance in returning the bodies of his relatives.