Jalandhar, Dec 13: A retired Punjab Police inspector has claimed that his son has died under mysterious circumstances in Colombia while going to the US through “donkey flights”, which is an illegal and backdoor way to reach the destination country. On Tuesday, Gurbachan Singh appealed to the government to help him bring back the body of his son, Palwinder Singh.
The 39-year-old, who hailed from Bains Awan village in Tanda from Hoshiarpur district, had left for the US on December 4. Gurbachan Singh said his son had paid Rs 6 lakh out of Rs 25 lakh demanded by a travel agent for a tourist visa. He added that Palwinder took a flight to Ecuador from Delhi and from there he reached Colombia to board the connecting flight.
The retired inspector told The Indian Express that the family was informed about Palwinder’s death by another Punjabi youth who was travelling with him. “We received a call from Colombia from another youth who is from Tanda’s Miani village and was also going to the US along with my son,” Singh said. He, however, said the reason behind Palwinder’s death was not revealed to the family. “He was hail and hearty when he left India and see what happened in a week. They did not give us any valid reason for his death,” he said.
Singh, however, lamented the fact that Palwinder took an illegal route to reach the US. The retired inspector said he had forbidden his son from taking the “donkey flight” route. “I had stopped him from taking an illegal way to reach the US, but he was determined to go there and even paid to the agent without my consent,” Singh said.
Palwinder is survived by his wife and two daughters. “I appeal to the government to make arrangements for bringing his body back,” Gurbachan Singh said, adding, he would file a police complaint against the travel agent Nishan Singh.
A police officer said it was common practice to take the “donkey flight” route for backdoor entry to the US or Europe. “These flights enter the destination country from illegal entry points,” he said.
For instance, such illegal immigrants are taken to a particular country on tourist visas and from there different road, sea and air routes are adopted to enter the destination country. All these arrangements are taken care of by unscrupulous travel agents who charge a hefty sum from the tourists. “Some time even fake documents are provided to these migrants,” the officer said. He said most of these agents operate from Punjab, Delhi and have contacts in foreign countries to arrange for the documents.
Source The Indian Express