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HindustanTimes Fri,31 Oct 2014

7 Punjab students on trip to NASA go missing in US

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Nakodar (Jalandhar), April 26, 2013
First Published: 14:14 IST(26/4/2013) | Last Updated: 14:20 IST(26/4/2013)

Seven students from Jalandhar district, who went to an educational trip of National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) in the United States earlier this month, have gone missing there.

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On April 11, around 50 students of Class-12 from State Public School (SPS) of Nakodar and Shahkot, and Emm Aar International of Adampur, had gone to NASA on an educational trip. While other students returned to India on April 23, seven of them went missing and could not be traced, Amit, representative of a Delhi-based company told Hindustan Times.

The missing students are identified as Karanjot Singh from Emm Aar International School, Adampur,  Manveer,  Sahil Kalra and Harpreet Singh Chattha from SPS, Nakodar and Ranjeet Singh, Jaskaranbeer Singh and Lavdeep Singh of SPS, Shahkot said Amit adding that the US police authorities were informed at the earliest.
 
"Sahil Kalra, Jaskaranbeer Singh and Lovepreet Singh were reported missing during the trip to Niagara falls on April 18 and accordingly, the police were informed," Amit said adding that the trio took their passports along, leaving other belongings in the tourist bus.
 
While Karanjot Singh went missing from Orlando and Harpreet Singh Chattha, Manveer and Ranjeet Singh went missing in New York, he said.

He further said that police authorities of both the cities were informed about the missing students and as these students did not take their passports along, their travel documents were also handed over to the US police.
 
"The US police authorities refused to lodge any FIR against the missing students, as their visas were valid up to May 10 and only after the expiry of their valid visa, they could be treated as illegal immigrants", Amit said.
 
When contacted, chairman of the Management Committee of State Public Schools, Narottam Singh alleged involvement of the parents in the missing of their wards, as conspicuously none of them approached the school authorities to ask for whereabouts of their kids.
 
"We have repeatedly sent messages to the parents to come and meet us, but nobody has turned up so far, which indicates their alleged involvement", Singh said adding that duly signed affidavits from the parents for their assurance that their wards would come back were taken before the departure of the educational trip.
 
Asked whether the school authorities would lodge any FIR with the local police regarding missing of seven students, Singh said, "It is up to the parents of missing students to lodge any FIR.  Moreover, till the time the missing students have valid visas to stay in US, no action could be taken against them by the school authorities".

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