New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Friday expressed shock in the wake of the reports that emerged saying 4 Indian Nationals, including an infant lost their lives at the Canada-US border this week. “Have asked our Ambassadors in the US and Canada to urgently respond to the situation,” S. Jaishankar wrote on Twitter.

According to reports in the US and Canadian media, a U.S. Homeland Security officer found four people “frozen to death” on Wednesday in a field on the Canadian side of the US-Canada border alongside Canada’s Manitoba and USA’s North Dakota provinces.

The four bodies – a Man, a woman, a teenager and an infant – were discovered about 30 to 40 feet from the U.S. border, in a remote area six miles east of Emerson, Manitoba, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a statement.

“It is an absolute and heartbreaking tragedy,” Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told a group of reporters on Thursday.

“We are very concerned that this attempted crossing may have been facilitated in some way, and that these individuals, including an infant, were left on their own in the middle of a blizzard when the weather hovered around minus 35 degrees Celsius, factoring the wind,” Commissioner MacLatchy said.

“These victims faced not only the cold weather, but also endless fields, large snowdrifts and complete darkness,” she added.

According to media reports, the bodies were discovered after the US Border Patrol agents apprehended Steve Shand, 47, charging him of human smuggling, while he was driving a 15-passenger van that was carrying “two undocumented citizens of India”.

According to the court documents produced by prosecutors of Steve Shand, while Shand and others were being taken to a Border Patrol station by the US authorities, authorities found “five more Indian citizens” walking in the direction of the spot where Shand was reportedly arrested.

As per court documents, all the citizens who were detained with Shand and the ones who were reportedly following him along the US-Canada border spoke Gujarati.

In a statement, the Canada Border Services Agency said it is also working with law enforcement partners, as well as its American counterparts, on the investigation.

The office of the Minister of Public Safety said in a statement: “We are shocked and saddened by the tragic deaths of four people attempting to cross the Canada-US border, near Emerson, Manitoba. We extend our most heartfelt condolences to their loved ones, and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”

Posted By: Mukul Sharma