Karnal man shot dead in California was illegal immigrant, sold family’s two acres to chase dollar dream
ASSANDH (KARNAL): Maninder Singh Sahi, 29, who was shot dead in a grocery store in Los Angeles on Saturday, was an illegal immigrant in the US and debt-ridden family had sold its two acres in Karnal to pay ₹50 lakh for fulfilling his US dream even if it meant taking the backdoor via a donkey flight and then seeking political asylum.
Maninder’s dream was cut short when a masked assailant killed him at a grocery store at Whittier City in Los Angeles, California, early on Saturday. He worked as a clerk at the store. The killer is absconding.
Family members say Maninder’s father, Joginder Singh, 62, sold his two acres of farm land at Uplana village in Karnal district of Haryana to pay ₹28 lakh to an agent to fulfil his only son’s dream of going to the United States in May last year. In November, he again spent ₹24 lakh on bonds and to hire advocates to help his son apply for a political asylum there. Maninder’s relatives in the US also helped him when he was arrested for illegally entering the country. He was released from jail in November 2019.
His relatives in the US broke the news to his family. “All Maninder wanted was to provide us a better life. He went there so that his children could get a better life. We sold our land to send him abroad. He was happy with his job and would send a large part of his income to us as he wanted us to repay the debt,” his wife, Amandeep Kaur, said.
Maninder married Amandeep in 2010 and they have a daughter Seerat, 8, and a son Shaan, 6.
Amandeep said her husband had called her up a day before the incident but he did not pick up the phone on Saturday which is when their US-based relatives called to inform the family that he had been shot dead.
Maninder’s parents, Joginder Singh and Sarvjit Kaur, live with his wife in the village, while his younger sister is married in Karnal.
Kuldeep Singh, his brother-in-law said, “Maninder was the only breadwinner of the family and they spent more than ₹50 lakh to get him settled abroad. His death has left the family shattered. The future of his children is our concern.”
Maninder’s friend Sanjeev Kumar, also a resident of Uplana, said, “Maninder wanted to leave this poverty behind. He was a matriculate and became a photographer. He ran a photography studio in nearby Assandh town for five years. He was impressed by the lifestyle of his NRI cousin settled in the United States for years and decided to leave. Now his family has lost everything.”
The family has expressed its inability to bring back the body to India for cremation though Karnal deputy commissioner Nishant Kumar Yadav has assured all help to it.