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Travel agent booked for sending Punjab youth to US illegally

At present, at least 100 Indian youths, mostly Punjabis, are detained in federal detention centres in the southern US for entering the country by the illegal route.

punjab Updated: Aug 26, 2018 13:30 IST
Parampreet Singh Narula
Parampreet Singh Narula
Hindustan Times, Kapurthala
Punjab,punjab news,visa
(Representative image )

Five days after two youths from Doaba region were killed while trying to enter the US via an illegal route, the police on Saturday have booked a local travel agent.

The accused, identified as Kulwinder Singh Babbal is also a congress leader. Babbal, who is a Tanda based resident, was ticket seeker from Bholath constituency.

He first appeared in the news in December 2016, after a scuffle ensued between him and Kapurthala MLA Rana Gurjit Singh’s group, during a workers’ meeting in Nadala town.

Following a complaint from Sukhwinder Singh, father of the 18-year-old victim Davinderpal Singh, who was from Begowal in Kapurthala district, the Begowal police registered a case against Babbal under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 420 (cheating) and 406 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 13 of the Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling act.

Sukhwinder came to know about his death of his son from a relative on Tuesday. The other youth was identified as Gaurav, 20, a resident of Banga in Nawanshahr.

Davinderpal and Gaurav had reportedly taken an illegal route to enter the US, via Greece, Italy and Spain before reaching Mexico by air.

The duo were accompanied by a Punjabi girl, who has not been identified yet.

Sukhwinder said he paid Rs 24 lakh to a local travel agent, who assured him of Davinderpal’s safe passage into the US. The three left Punjab on June 13 and reached their destination in Mexico on July 1.

At present, at least 100 Indian youths, mostly Punjabis, are detained in federal detention centres in the southern US for entering the country by the illegal route. Mexico, which shares a 3,155-km border with the US, is the final destination for these ‘illegal aliens’, who take different routes to reach there, with the help of fake documents, before entering the US soil.

Harjinder Singh, station house officer (SHO) Begowal said that the police are conducting raids to nab the accused who is absconding.

Meanwhile, Nawanshahr senior superintendent of police (SSP) Deepak Hilori said that Gaurav’s family haven’t approached the police yet. “I have asked his kin to lodge the complaint so that we can register the case against the accused.”

First Published: Aug 26, 2018 12:50 IST