Hindu repatriates from Pak face passport problem in Bhopal

  • Shahroz Afridi, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Nov 17, 2014 15:07 IST

Over 400 families living in Bhopal that repatriated from Pakistan in want of peace are not at ease even here. Narrating their harrowing past in Pakistan they expected more from Indian government which till now has failed to deliver and provide them relief.

Shrichand Chandwani and his family came to Bhopal in 2011 after his daughter was allegedly kidnapped by some extremists in Daharki, district Ghotki, in Paksitan. "We were extremely unsafe in Pakistan. My sister was abducted and converted to Islam," said Ajay Chandwani Shrichand's only son.

He said that they reported to police but no action was taken. Then the family filed a case in the court but the culprits came with guns and open fired indiscriminately inside the court and went away. The family complained at all the forums available but to no avail. Ultimately they decided to leave for India.

Rani Tharani too had almost same past came to Bhopal about six years ago from Thul in Jacobabad district of Pakistan. "We can't go out without a veil. Several areas were banned for us and the biggest concern was safety of my daughters," said Rani, mother of three daughters.

She said that her husband Chandarlal had a cloth shop in Thul and were doing very well but had to leave because of the safety of their daughters. Daya has three daughters and her family came to Bhopal just five years back. "They convert the females to Islam," said Daya. Her husband Parmanand had a medical store there, who is now struggling in Bhopal to establish his business.

Ajit Rajani, coordinator of citizenship cell of Sindhu Sena, said that the families settled here are facing several problems. "Passports of several people have expired and we don't get LTV (Long Term Visa) easily. The whole process is complicated which allows government officials to fleece us," said Rajani.

Explaining the complications of the process, Niranjan, who came here in 2008, said that when we ask for LT (Long Term Visa) form, we are asked to show our passports. The officials say that your passport is expired and then demand identity card that automatically expires with passport.

New passport cannot be made without identity card. One has to go back to Pakistan to get a new identity card. Thus LTV too cannot be granted to the Pakistani repatriates. "This gives chance to local police to fleece us," said Niranjan.

"We met our MLA Rameshwar Sharma today and have submitted a memorandum demanding simplification of rules for visa extension and granting citizenship," said chief coordinator of Sindhu Sena, Durgesh Keswani. Union Home minister Rajnath Singh had announced that Hindus who had come from Pakistan before December 31, 2009, would be given citizenship.

Union government should extend this date till 2014, said Keswani. He added that according to rough estimate about 350 to 400 families (4000 people) are staying in Bhopal and about the double number in Indore.

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