Illegal immigration: Punjab youth dies in Turkey, two jailed

Chandigarh, July 20 (Calcutta Tube) In yet another instance of the illegal immigration racket being run in Punjab going haywire, a youth from Punjab lost his life on the Turkey-Greece border, two others have ended up in a prison in Istanbul and three have gone missing, reports reaching their families in Punjab have confirmed.

The six youths were part of a group trying to cross over to Greece from Turkey.

The tragedy of the death of Punjab youth Sukhwinder Singh is that his family, who live in Jalandhar district, 150 km from here, are not aware that their son is dead.

Avtar Singh Mullanpuri, the senior vice president of the Lok Bhalai Party (LBP), which has been spearheading the campaign against the rampant illegal immigration racket in Punjab for the last few years, told IANS that efforts were being made to trace the family of Sukhwinder Singh to tell them about the tragedy.

Sukhwinder was shot dead last Thursday by border guards in Turkey as he tried to escape while making an unsuccessful bid to enter Greece. Two other youths were arrested by the Turkish border guards and are now lodged in a prison in Istanbul.

Three others, who were part of a group of six youths, four from Punjab and two from Haryana, had been sent by a travel agent from the Amritsar international airport about 15 days ago with the promise that they would be taken to Greece for work.

Mullanpuri told IANS Tuesday: ‘Today we have written to the prime minister and the ministry of external affairs to talk to the Indian embassy officials in Turkey so that the body of the deceased youth is brought back. We have also sought help to get the jailed youths released and sent back. The embassy should seek help to trace the three missing youths as well.’

The LBP leader said that they came to know about the fate of these youths after one of them, Sarabjeet Singh from Ludhiana district, who is now in jail in Turkey, called up his father. The father of the youth then approached the LBP for help.

Another youth, Balwinder Singh from Amritsar district, is also lodged in jail.

‘The authorities in Turkey do not know what to do with the body of Sukhwinder Singh,’ Mullanpuri said.

Sarabjeet told his father that they were trying to cross the Turkey-Greece border through a marshy area when they were spotted. While he and Balwinder were caught, Sukhwinder did not stop and died in the firing. The fate of the remaining three youths is not yet known.

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