New Delhi: More than 325 Indians put on a specially arranged non-scheduled flight by Mexican immigration authorities for illegally entering the country, arrived in New Delhi on Friday.
The Indians had reached Mexico over the last few months with the help of international agents who had allegedly promised them entry into the US through illegal means, immigration sources had confirmed yesterday.
The chartered flight Boeing 747-400 touched down at Indira Gandhi International Airport on Friday morning. All the Indians had been issued Emergency Certificates- a one-way travel document that allows an Indian citizen to enter India in an emergency. Such papers are issued to individuals, who lose, damage, or have no valid passports.
The Indians were accompanied by more than 60 security escorts.
Speaking to ANI, Suresh Singh, one of the repatriated Indians, said that among all the immigrants from different South Asian countries who had entered Mexico, only the Indians had been deported, while immigrants from other countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Cameroon, and Nepal are still there.
Gaurav Kumar, another repatriated Indian, said that he paid 18 lakh to the agent for entry into the US. "We sold our gold and lands to get the money. Our agent sent us through forests. We walked through forests for about 2 weeks and then we were deported from Mexico."
"The National Immigration Institute (of Mexico) said in a statement late Wednesday that it had flown the 310 men and one woman to New Delhi from Toluca," The Washington Post had reported, quoting the Associated Press.
"Mexico has stepped up its immigration enforcement in recent months under pressure from the United States. The government has deployed thousands of National Guard agents along the major migration routes," the publication's report further stated.
"The process of repatriation will take not less than 3-4 hours as government agencies will question them regarding their travel. A legal case may also be registered in the matter and the role of insiders will be probed," a senior immigration official had told ANI.
The majority of repatriated Indians are from Punjab who had traveled to Mexico over the last couple of months.