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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Punjab sends list of 125 Pakistan Hindus to MHA for citizenship

Rajeev Bhaskar, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, September 18, 2012
First Published: 21:17 IST(18/9/2012) | Last Updated: 00:23 IST(19/9/2012)

Punjab's home department has sent the union home ministry a list of 125 migrated Pakistani Hindus settled in the city, for grant of Indian citizenship.


Meanwhile, deputy commissioner Priyank Bharti has initiated the process of verifying the backgrounds of 75 more such migrants for Indian citizenship.

"Verification of 125 migrated Pakistan Hindus has been completed and sent to the home affairs ministry," said social activist Surinder Kumar Billa, showing the communiqué in this regard.

Accompanied by Pakistani Hindus, Billa was here to meet Bharti to demand speedy processing of verification of the remaining 75 migrated Hindus, so that their names could also be recommended for Indian citizenship.

"Recently lakhs of Hindus migrated to India and most of them settled in Rajasthan, as they were denied visas in Punjab," Billa said. "A five-member team of advocates headed by senior advocate RL Panjwani has been set up to fight for the cause of such migrated Hindus."

"While these Hindus, who had crossed the border at least a decade ago, are still waiting for Indian citizenship, their relatives too are eager to cross over due to the growing atrocities against them in Pakistan," said Billa.

"A few months ago, we had prepared the list of Pakistani Hindus after their personal verification and accordingly the home department sent it to the ministry," Bharti said. "On Tuesday too, several essential forms were distributed among Pakistani Hindus and once their verification is complete, their names would also be cleared for citizenship."

SUCH A LONG WAIT

I am yet to become an Indian citizen. I migrated to India with my family from Sialkot when I was eight. But our marriage could not be registered as I was not an Indian citizen : Chanda, 22; married to Indian citizen Narinder Kamar

The fate of my citizenship is still hanging in the balance, 32 years after my migration from Sialkot: Bhola Ram, 63; migrated to India in 1980
 
I am the mother of four children. As they were born in India, they are its natural citizens, but I am still called a Pakistani: Neelam Kumari, 35; married to Indian citizen, Harjinder Kumar

Although I have been issued ration card and voter identity card and even vote in the last assembly election, I am still waiting for Indian citizenship. I have made a formal request several times, even as recently as three months ago, with all documents, but nothing has come about: Chunni Lal, 55; works as a labourer in a confectionary shop

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