Deported Jalandhar youth back to work in cane fields

ADAMPUR: After Class XII, Kamalpreet Singh (25) of Ucha Pind in Adampur stopped studying. His heart was set on making a fortune abroad. For seven years his focus was on ways to enter the US or UK, legally or illegally.

Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service
Adampur, October 19

After Class XII, Kamalpreet Singh (25) of Ucha Pind in Adampur stopped studying. His heart was set on making a fortune abroad. For seven years his focus was on ways to enter the US or UK, legally or illegally. 

Five months ago, he set out to realise his dream but was deported with 12 more Punjabi youths. He is now back to toiling in cane fields with his father Sukhbir Singh Sodhi, rather angry and bitter at the turn of events.

Having paid a considerable sum to a Jalandhar-based agent, he got a visa for Schengen (a list of 26 countries makes for a Schengen region which allows its citizens free movement in and out of the area). Narrates Kamalpreet: “I left home on April 3 and took a flight to Turkey. From there, I reached France and then to Mexico. Having made pending payments to the agent in the next few days, I was made to cross a wall but was caught by a patrol team. I was kept at a police post for 17 days and then taken to a camp where I stayed for five months. I called up my father, took more financial help, contested my case and paid huge sums to lawyers. “All this while, I was hoping against hope that I would be granted political asylum. Just then six-year-old girl Gurpreet Kaur dying in Arizona deserts made headlines and the US took a strong note of it. Subsequently, the lawyers rejected all cases. I was told I was being taken to another camp, but was instead brought to a deportation centre. I raised a hue and cry but to no avail. I was made to board a plane back to India on September 14”.

Kamalpreet claimed 70 Punjabis, mostly without passports, were languishing at this camp. “Since I had my passport with me, I was sent back.” Kamalpreet’s fathe rues losing Rs 35 lakh. “I sent my son through illegal channels. So I cannot blame anyone. It would have been better had I invested the money in some business.” 

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