The hundreds of Indian students in Canada who are at risk of deportation have been protesting and finally, relief comes to their end. The Canadian government has put their deportation on hold after the request sent by Aam Admi Party leader Vikramjit Singh Sahney.
The students started protesting in Toronto on June 5 when the Canadian authorities started the proceedings to remove one of the students named Lovepreet Singh. He was asked to leave the country by June 13 after the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) found his visa papers fake. He belongs to the 700 other Indian students who have been part of the scam by a consultant in Jalandhar called Brijesh Mishra who sent them to Canada with fake letters.
Today the Aam Aadmi Party leader Vikramjit Singh Sahney confirmed that the Canadian government has decided to put this deportation order on hold. According to reports, he said, "We have written to them and we have explained to them that these students have not done any forgery or fraud. They are victims of fraud because some unauthorised agents issued fake admission letters and receipts of payments. Visas were also applied without any checking. Then when the children reached there, the immigration dept also allowed them to enter." He informed that after his written request and consultation with the Indian High commission, they took this step.
The plight of the parents
Lovepreet Singh's parents are still in disbelief that their son who had left for Canada six years ago on a study visa is now under threat of deportation after his education paper was found to be fake, and keep wondering what's their son's fault.
Families in Punjab blamed education consultants for duping them with fake admission letters. Most of the 700 students had gone to Canada between 2017 and 2018.
"Lovepreet moved to Canada in 2017 after completing his mechanical engineering. He is good in studies. What’s his fault," said a teary-eyed Sarabjit Kaur, Lovepreet's mother, from Chatamli village in Punjab's Rupnagar district.
"We want him to stay there. We have invested our life savings on sending Lovepreet abroad," she said.
Sarabjit Kaur has filed a police complaint against the consultant through which Loverpreet had gone to Canada.
Lovepreet, among other students, has been camping outside the building of CBSA in Mississauga in Canada in protest against the deportation orders.
Ferozepur-based parents of Amritpal Singh were equally worried over the fate of their son who is also facing deportation.
Amritpal's father Gurdev Singh said his son had gone to Canada in 2018 after completing Class 12.
He studied at a college for two years in London city of Canada and later worked there.
"When he applied for permanent residency, we came to know that his admission letter was fake," said Gurdev Singh, a farmer from Peer Mohammad village in Ferozepur district.
Gurdev Singh said he and his son were completely dejected after they learnt about the fraud and the imminent deportation.
He has lodged a police complaint against Jalandhar-based consultant Brajesh Mishra allegedly for duping his son and several other students.
Gurdev Singh said though he never met Mishra, another person in his office kept giving him assurances that everything will be all right and he believed him.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday gave students the hope that all is not lost, when he said his government was focused on identifying "the culprits, not penalising the victims."
"We are deeply aware of cases of international students facing removal orders over fraudulent college acceptance letters," Trudeau said in Canada.
"Victims of fraud will have an opportunity to demonstrate their situations and present evidence to support their cases," he added.
A Canadian parliamentary committee has voted unanimously to urge the border services agency to stop the deportation of nearly 700 Indian students who were duped by unscrupulous education consultants in India.
Back in Punjab, Punjab NRI Affairs minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal said the state government will provide free legal assistance to the Indian students facing deportation.
Dhaliwal has also written to all MPs of Punjab origin in Canada to help students tide over the deportation trouble and sought intervention from Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in this matter.
Jaishankar earlier said India has taken up the issue with Canadian authorities.
"If there were people who misled them, the culpable parties should be acted upon. It is unfair to punish a student who undertook education in good faith," he said in Delhi.
National Students Union of India, Punjab unit president Isherpreet Singh sought the Punjab government to take strict action against fraudulent consultants to save the future of youth who aspire to go abroad.
(With PTI inputs)