It was reported in The Hindu that around 800 Hindus seeking Indian citizenship returned to Pakistan as they could not meet the requirements to attain Indian citizenship. The report referred to a Jodhpur-based advocacy group, Seemant Lok Sangathan, working for the Pakistani minority migrants in India (as per the report).
Counter View: Dr Omendra Ratnu, writer and founder member of Nimittekam, an organisation working for the well-being of refugees of Hindu, Sikh and other minorities of India’s neighbourhood, dismissed the report.
In an interview, he said that he and his organisation are in touch with the 800 Hindus who left India.
He clarified that they never sought Indian citizenship. These people have not been deported but have left on their own accord.
Their families were still residing in Pakistan, while they extended their stay in India due to Covid restrictions.
According to him, the narrative that 800 Hindus left India because of the government’s apathy is a lie.
Jai Ahuja, another founder member of the organisation, said that the manufactured narratives are being spread against the Narendra Modi government in order to discourage Pakistani Hindus to seek asylum and citizenship in India.
Process in Place: The process for granting citizenship to persecuted minorities from neighbouring Islamic nations is underway.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had set up an online application process in 2018 and empowered 16 collectors in seven states to accept online applications for granting citizenship to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jain and Buddhists from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
In May 2021, 13 more district collectors in five states were included in the list.
During his recent visit to West Bengal, Home Minister Amit Shah assured that the government would implement CAA once the Covid wave ends.
Bottom line: The Hindu is yet to come out with a clarification on its report. Meanwhile, in several places, many refugees belonging to persecuted minorities have already been granted citizenship and the process in other cases is ongoing with the Modi government reiterating its commitment to implement CAA.
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