India Bestows Citizenship to 90 Hindus from PakistanTop Stories

June 23, 2018 07:39
India Bestows Citizenship to 90 Hindus from Pakistan

(Image source from: DNA India)

Over ninety Hindus from Pakistan, who had migrated to the India years ago, were granted Indian citizenship by the district authorities at a function held at Ahmedabad district collectorate on Friday.

The Indian citizenship certificates to the 90 applicants were handed over by District collector Vikrant Pandey, issued in agreement with the provisions of citizenship act, 1955.

"In 2016, the Centre had decentralized the process of issuing citizenship to the minority communities, such as the Hindus and the Sikhs, of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan," Mr. Pandey told reporters.

He further stated that in December 2016, through a gazette notification issued, the Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and Kutch district collectors were given powers to bestow Indian citizenship to the applicants from these communities living in Gujarat.

"With today’s tally of 90, Ahmedabad becomes a leader among all the districts in the country in awarding such citizenship since the new arrangement came into effect," Mr. Pandey said.

Citizenship to 320 people since 2016

"Since 2016, the Ahmedabad district collectorate has awarded citizenship to 320 people. No other district in the country has awarded these many certificates of citizenship. Ninety percent of the 320 applicants were from Pakistan, while the rest were from Bangladesh," the Collector added.

Since these people were now citizens of India, they could apply for Aadhaar cards, passport, and several else benefits.

"The names of these citizens will also be included in the electoral rolls," he added.

India on a long-term visa

The appliers who were granted Indian citizenship conveyed acknowledgment to the management and stated joyousness for eventually being able to call themselves "Indian," while some of them shared out their experiences in Pakistan, which constrained them to leave behind their businesses and come to India on a long-term visa.

"Hindus, an easy target in Pakistan"

Bharatkumar Khatwani, 35, said, who used to live in Karachi said, "I have been living here since 2009. I used to own a super-store in Karachi, but I had to migrate here due to the law-and-order situation there. Hindus are an easy target there. It is more rampant in small towns. Hindus have to hide their identity in order to save themselves in Pakistan."

Meeraben Maheshwari (70), who used to live in the Sindh province said "My daughter was abducted by Muslims, who converted her. Though I had approached a court there, she was never found. The locals forcibly took possession of our house and shop. I was left with no other option but migrate here," she said.

By Sowmya Sangam

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