Sat, 21 May 2022

Ottawa [Canada], January 28 (ANI): The four people found dead near the Canada-US border last week have been officially identified as Indian nationals, the Indian High Commission in Ottawa confirmed on Thursday and said that this tragedy has brought into focus the need to ensure that migration and mobility are made safe and legal.

The high commission in a statement said Canadian authorities, through a medical examination, have determined all the deaths to be consistent with exposure to outdoor elements.

"Canadian authorities have confirmed the identities of the four deceased as; Jagdish Baldevbhai Patel, male, 39 years; Vaishaliben Jagdishkumar Patel, female, 37 years; Vihangi Jagdishkumar Patel, female, 11 years and Dharmik Jagdishkumar Patel, male, 3 years," the high commission said.

Earlier, Canadian authorities found the bodies of four people, who froze to death while trying to cross the Canada-US border in Emerson, Manitoba, near the Canada/US border on January 19. All four were from the same family.

Speaking at a presser on Thursday afternoon, Manitoba RCMP Chief Supt. Rob Hill confirmed the identity of all Indian nationals.

"We apologize for that error, but please understand that the frozen state in which the bodies were found and the clothing worn by the family made the initial confirmation difficult. It is also why the process to confirm the names took an extended period of time," Hill said.

The case involved human smuggling and local authorities would like to speak to anyone who may have helped or seen the family while they were in Canada, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported.

"We need anyone who had interaction with the Patel family or has information about their journey to the border to think about what they went through and step forward," Hill said.

In the press statement, the Indian High Commission said a special team led by an officer from the Consulate General of India in Toronto is currently in Manitoba helping with the investigation.

"People-to-people relations are an important pillar of India-Canada bilateral relations. Canada is a preferred destination for Indian immigrants and students. India and Canada work together to ensure the safety and well-being of all Indian immigrants into Canada."Stating that both India and Canada have a regular dialogue on migration and welfare issues, the high commission said this tragedy has brought into focus the need to ensure that migration and mobility are made safe and legal.

"On longer-term issues that this tragedy has brought into focus is the need to ensure that migration and mobility are made safe and legal and that such tragedies do not recur. A number of ideas remain under discussion between India and Canada," the statement added. (ANI)

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