Matters India |Friday, May 26, 2017
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Indian detained at US airport dies in custody 

Atlanta: An elderly Indian has died in the custody of US immigration officials at a hospital in Atlanta.

Atul Kumar Babubhai Patel was detained for allegedly not possessing necessary immigration documents while entering the country. He arrived at the Atlanta airport on May 10 on a flight from Ecuador.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement took the 58-year-old man to custody at the Atlanta City Detention Center for two days. Officials said the preliminary cause of his death on May 17 was congestive heart failure.

The Immigration department, in a statement, said the US Customs and Border Protection denied Patel entry into the country as he did not possess the necessary immigration documents. He was then transferred to the custody of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

At the Atlanta City Detention Center, Patel received an initial medical screening and was found to have high blood pressure and diabetes.

On May 13, a nurse checking Patel’s blood sugar noticed he had a breathing problem following which he was shifted to a hospital where he passed away.

The immigration department said it is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is “undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of the incident, as it does in all such cases”.

The agency has informed the Indian consular representatives who informed Patel’s family about his death.

The agency said that deaths in its custody are “exceedingly rare” and occur at a fraction of the rate of the US detained population as a whole.

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