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Two Doaba youths die trying to sneak into US

The family of 18-year-old Davinderpal Singh, who was from Begowal in Kapurthala district, came to know about his death from a relative on Tuesday, who also informed them about the death of Gaurav, 20, of Banga in Nawanshahr.

punjab Updated: Aug 22, 2018 12:04 IST
Jatinder Mahal
Jatinder Mahal
Hindustan Times, Kapurthala
Doaba youths,US,American dream
One of the youths, Davinderpal Singh.(HT photo)

The lure of the American dream claimed the life of two youths from Doaba region, who were reportedly trying to sneak into the US illegally through a dense forest in Mexico.

The family of 18-year-old Davinderpal Singh, who was from Begowal in Kapurthala district, came to know about his death from a relative on Tuesday, who also informed them about the death of Gaurav, 20, of Banga in Nawanshahr.

Davinderpal and Gaurav had reportedly taken the “donkey route” — slang for illegal immigration — to enter the US, travelling to Greece, Italy and Spain before reaching Mexico by air. The two were accompanied by a Punjabi girl, whose identity has not been ascertained.

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 the federal detention facilities in southern US for entering the country illegally. Mexico, which shares 3,155-km border with the US, is the final destination of these “illegal aliens”, who take different routes — road, sea and air — to reach there, mostly on fake documents, before entering the US soil.

Girl survives to share ordeal

“The last time I talked to my son over phone was on July 6,” said Sukhwinder. “He told me that he will soon reach his destination, as he was going to start a short journey through a forest on the US-Mexico border.”

However, on their way, the trio forgot the way and got trapped in the forest.

“They did not eat anything for days as the local agent had given them only a few bottles of water and some snacks. They managed to reach Arizona in the US, but fainted in the jungle due to hunger and thirst,” said Sukhwinder, on basis of the information gathered by his US-based elder brother from the girl, who was rescued and admitted to a camp by local security forces.

The aggrieved father said he will meet external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj through Rajya Sabha member Naresh Gujral on Wednesday to appeal to her to make arrangements for bringing back his son’s body.

The other youth, Gaurav, used to live with his uncle Gurmeet Singh at Nora village in Banga. His parents are already settled in the US. Gurmeet said he had last talked to him in the first week of July.

Meanwhile, Bholath deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Davinder Singh said Davinderpal’s family have informed them about the death of the two youths.

“The family has not recorded any statement against the travel agent yet. We will register a case once they do so,” he said.

First Published: Aug 21, 2018 22:57 IST