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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

“It Arrived When He Was Gone”

Police and locals gathered around the body near the canal in Jhansa, Kurukshetra, on Friday.


In a case of suicide apparently over delay in student visa for Canada, the body of a 23-year-old man — missing since two days — was found from a canal in Haryana’s Kurukshtera district on Friday. His visa had come on Thursday but he couldn’t be told as he was missing, probably dead already by then, said a family friend.

Police suspect the man — identified as Vikesh Saini alias Deepak from village Gorkha in Shahbad sub-division — jumped into the canal near Jansa town, because he was upset as his friend had already got his student visa while he hadn’t.

He is survived by three siblings — a brother and two sisters — besides his parents. His father has a government job, it is learned. The immediate family wasn’t able to speak. Having completed his graduation degree, he had wanted to settle in Canada after studying there first, said a relative.

Gurnam Singh, a former sarpanch of Gorkha village and a family friend, said, “On Thursday, his visa came. But he was already missing by then. He’d been upset ever since his friend’s visa to Canada came, that his was getting delayed endlessly. The family, too, wanted to send their son to Canada for a better life.”

It wasn’t clear when he’d applied.

His slippers and motorbike were spotted by the Narwana Branch canal by the family during a search on Thursday, after which divers were engaged. The body was handed over to the family after post-mortem examination, said area police in-charge Rajpal Singh. Police filed a report and started the required inquiry but are treating this as a case of suicide.

Student visa delays have been a problem even after Covid eased up. Besides Canada — it is taking around six months for the process — the UK and the US have been taking longer than usual to take a call on applications.

In fact, the delay appears to be a worldwide problem, news agencies have reported, as immigration offices of several countries have been posted signs and messages notifying students.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said recently: “Senior MEA officials dealing with Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, UK and USA had constructive discussions with corresponding heads of missions and senior diplomats from these countries about streamlining student visas to Indian nationals.”

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