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800 Pak Hindu refugees return home after failing to get Indian citizenship: Reports

9/05/2022 at 4:17 PM

New Delhi,May 9: Around 800 Pakistani Hindus who had took refuge in Rajasthan, had to return to the neighbouring country after they failed to acquire Indian citizenship in 2021,  Seemant Lok Sangathan (SLS), a group that advocates for the rights of Pakistani minority migrants in India, said to media on Sunday.

“Many of them returned to Pakistan after they found that there had been no progress in their citizenship application,” it said.

According to media reports, the SLS President Hindu Singh Sodha has claimed that the several Pakistani agencies used these people to defame India. They were made to say the media that they were ill-treated here.

Notably, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in 2018, initiated an online citizenship application process and had also directed 16 Collectors in seven States to accept online applications for granting citizenship to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jain, and Buddhists from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.

However since the portal does not accept expired Pakistani passports, the people with the expired documents had to knock the doors of the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi to get their passports renewed for a hefty sum. 

 Union minister of state for home affairs (MoS home) Nityanand Rai in December 2021 informed Parliament that as many as 7,306 Pakistani nationals applied for Indian citizenship till December 14, 2021.

He further said that as many as 1,152 applications for Indian citizenship are pending from Afghanistan, 428 from Stateless, 223 from the US and Sri Lanka, and 189 and 161 from Nepal and Bangladesh, respectively. As many as 10 applications are pending from China as well, the minister told the Parliament.

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