In what appears to be the latest case of illegal immigration, a group of seven school children from Punjab went missing from their school educational trip to NASA in Orlando.
The children from Punjab's Jalandhar district apparently had their parent's backing since the parents appeared least concerned when they were informed of their children missing.
The principal of the State Public School, Nakodar told The Hindu, "We immediately informed the parents of the missing children, but found that they were quite unperturbed. Even now, three days after we have returned, no parent has come to complain, which shows that this was a pre-planned exercise, executed with the help of their U.S.-based relatives."
The parents when called upon by the school authorities also refused to turn up at the meeting.
Surjit Kaur, a grandmother to one of the missing students, grandmother told Indian Expres, "We did not contact the school authorities as we have given them in writing that if anything happens during this trip, the school authorities would not be responsible. If he had disappeared, it was his wish and he will manage himself. What they can do here?"
Illegal ways to reach foreign shores is quite rampant among the people of the state. Almost every household in the district has a family member situated abroad.
Incidentally, the firm which conducts the tours had forewarned the parents against undertaking such acts.
The seven missing students - Manveer, Sahil Kalra, Harpreet Singh Chattha, Ranjeet Singh, Jaskaran Singh, Lavdeep Singh and Karanjot Singh - are from State Public School Nakodar, State Public School Shahkot and Emm Aar International School Adampur.
Meanwhile, a student from the group which returned from the tour informed, "Karanjot had spoken to someone on phone. Later, a big car arrived and Karan left in it."
The visas of the missing students are due to expire on 28 May.