Over 83 Hindus hailing from Pakistan, who had migrated to the country years ago were given the Indian citizenship by the district authorities at a function held on Friday in Ahmedabad. These people were living here on long-term visas.
Vikrant Pandey, the District Collector, handed over the certificates of Indian citizenship to them. The citizenship was presented under the provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955, to the applicants.
“In 2016, the Centre had decentralised the process of issuing citizenship to the minority communities, such as the Hindus and the Sikhs, of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan,” Pandey told reporters.
Pandey had earlier said that over 400 people were awarded Indian citizenship by the Ahmedabad Collectorate, making it a top leader among all the districts in India in awarding such citizenship since the new arrangement started two years ago.
Pandey said adding that the district administration was doing its best to make sure that such applicants get the citizenship as soon as possible.
“Around 280 applications, received only this year, are still under consideration. We have already cleared all pending applications of previous years. We will try to make sure that no one remains in waiting list for long,” said Pandey.
Addressing the reporters, some of the applicants shared their experiences in Pakistan, which forced them to leave behind their work and loved ones and move to India. “I came here seven years back. I left Pakistan because Hindus are harassed and humiliated there. We are asked by Muslims to leave the country for being Hindus. Our women and daughters were also not safe there,” said Deepak Kishanchand, who used to stay, live and breathe in Hyderabad city of Sindh province.
They added that Hindus are not safe in Pakistan, which is mainly a Muslim country. These people are always humiliated and live in danger in the neighbouring country. Finally, after receiving the certificate of citizenship, they can proceed to apply for Aadhaar as well as other official benefits being offered by the Indian government. Incredible India!