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Ensure refugees from Pakistan get ration cards, says Rajasthan high court

A division bench of Justices Govind Mathur and Vinit Kumar Mathur passed the order after taking took suo motu cognizance of deportation of Pakistani nationals from minority Hindu community on Thar Express.

jaipur Updated: Sep 01, 2017 20:53 IST
Dinesh Bothra
Dinesh Bothra
Hindustan Times
A Pakistani passenger aboard the Thar Express.(HT File Photo)


The Rajasthan high court ordered the Jodhpur district administration on Friday to issue ration cards to Pakistani refugees and asked for an action plan by September 11 to give Indian citizenship to the eligible ones.

A division bench of justice Govind Mathur and justice Vinit Kumar Mathur took suo motu cognisance of deportation of Pakistani nationals from minority communities on Thar Express.

The high court had recently stayed deportation of nine Pakistani Hindus, but before the order was executed, the Thar express, by which they were deported, had entered Pakistani territory.

The court ordered Jodhpur collector to produce the action plan for compliance of the Centre’s June 27 notification for giving Indian citizenship to eligible Pak refugees. After preparing the plan, the court said, citizenship should be granted within 45 days.

“The state government shall also not deport any Pakistan migrant belonging to minority communities, if the migrant has applied for long-term visa or otherwise intends for that without having special reasons for security purposes. If the deportation is necessary for security reasons, then that fact shall also be brought into the notice of the court immediately,” the HC bench said.

The court directed the collector to instruct the Jodhpur district supply officer to invite applications from Pakistani migrants from minority communities for ration cards. After a migrant submits an application for a ration card, a decision has to be taken “as far as possible” within ten days, the court ordered.

The collector was directed to instruct local authorities to ensure cleanliness and necessary amenities at the camps where the migrants from Pakistan were staying.

The state’s additional advocate general, KL Thakur, told the HC on Wednesday that the number of registered Pak nationals in Jodhpur in 2016 was 2381, of which 1046 were living on long-term visas and about 410 were permanently sent back to Pakistan.

In 2017, Jodhpur has 1734 registered Pakistani nationals, of which 933 are on long-term visas and 194 have been sent back.

First Published: Sep 01, 2017 20:52 IST