Tuesday, July 6, 2010
The state BJP has formed a three-member committee, headed by Avinash Rai Khanna, member of Rajya Sabha, to look into this matter. Senior BJP leaders Dr Baldev Raj Chawla and Narottam Dev Ratti are the other two members of the committee.
“We met several families in Jalandhar, Rajpura and Amritsar, who are living in miserable conditions here. They had come to India after being harassed in Pakistan. The government has, however, not responded to their repeated pleas for Indian citizenship,” said Khanna, while addressing the media on Tuesday.
He said the committee would meet Punjab Chief Minister and Minister of State of External Affairs Preneet Kaur. He said if NRIs settled in other countries can get dual citizenship, why can’t Hindus and Sikhs living in Pakistan and Bangladesh get the same. He said the condition of Hindus and Sikhs settled in Pakistan was bad and they were being mistreated.
Recently, nearly 200 Pakistani Hindus, who had migrated to India in the last two decades, collectively started fight for their identity and gave their representations to the deputy commissioner concerned.
They lamented that despite spending over 10 to 15 years in India, the government did not given them Indian citizenship.
According to the Citizen Amendment Rules, 2004, made under citizenship Rules,1956, of Citizenship Act, 1955, notified by the Ministry of Home Affairs, “In respect of minority Hindus with Pakistan citizenship, who have migrated to India more than five years back with intention of permanently settling down in India and have applied for India citizenship, the authority to register a person as a citizen of India under clauses (a), (c), (d) and (e) of subsection (1) of Section (5) of the Act shall be the concerned collector of the district where the applicant is ordinarily resident”.