Indian citizenship for Hindus from Pakistan to be made easier: Government

There are around 400 Pakistani Hindu refugee settlements in cities like Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Raipur, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Kutch, Bhopal, Indore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Delhi and Lucknow.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: April 17, 2016 6:28 pm
Photo for representational purpose Photo for representational purpose

People belonging to minority communities of Pakistan, staying in India on a Long Term Visa, will soon be allowed to buy property, open bank accounts and get PAN and Aadhaar cards, with the Modi government planning to roll out special facilities for them.

Among other concessions the BJP-led government is all set to offer them include reduction in fees for registration as citizens of India from Rs 15,000 to as low as Rs 100.

Though the exact number of minority refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan living in India is not known, according to rough official estimates there are around two lakh such people, mostly Hindus and Sikhs.

There are around 400 Pakistani Hindu refugee settlements in cities like Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Raipur, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Kutch, Bhopal, Indore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Delhi and Lucknow.

“The central government has been constantly reviewing the hardships being faced by the minority communities in Pakistan staying in India on LTV. To ease some of their difficulties, it is proposed to provide the facilities,” a notification issued by the Home Ministry says.

The facilities include permitting opening of bank accounts without prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India subject to certain conditions, permission for purchase of dwelling unit for self-occupation and suitable accommodation for carrying out self-employment without prior approval of RBI subject to fulfilment of certain conditions.

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Issue of driving licence, PAN and Aadhaar cards, permission to take up self-employment or for doing business which is considered safe from security point of view, dispensing with the requirement of personal appearance before the Foreigners Registration Officer for registration are a few other facilities being planned.

Allowing free movement within the State/ UT where they are staying instead of restricting their movement within the place of stay, allowing free movement to those living in the National Capital Region (NCR), simplifying the procedure for visit to a place in any other State/ UT are being proposed.

Permission for transfer of LTV papers from one State/ UT to another State/ UT, waiver of penalty on non-extension of short term visa/ LTV on time, permission to apply for LTV at the place of present residence in cases where the applicants have moved to the present place of residence without prior permission are some of the other highlights.

It has also been proposed to simplify the procedure for grant of Indian citizenship to such nationals belonging to minority communities in Pakistan.

Collector, Deputy Commissioner or the District Magistrate will be empowered to authorise, in his absence, in writing an officer not below the rank of Sub-Divisional Magistrate for administering the oath of allegiance to the applicant.

Powers will be given to the Collectors or the District Magistrates of a few select districts in Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh for a period of two years for registration of such Pakistani nationals as citizens of India.

“Reduction of fees for registration as citizen of India for nationals of Pakistan belonging to minority communities from the existing level ranging from Rs 5000 (under registration) to Rs 15,000 (under naturalisation), to a uniform fee of Rs 100/- each at the time of application and at the time of grant of certificate of registration/ naturalisation,” the notification says.

Ever since the Narendra Modi government came to power in May 2014, several steps including issuance of Long Term Visa (LTV) for these refugees have been initiated.

In September 2015, the government had decided to allow minority refugees from Bangladesh and Pakistan to stay evenafter expiry of their visas on humanitarian grounds.

In April 2015, the Home Ministry rolled out an online system for LTV applications and for their processing by various security agencies.

In November 2014, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had approved a number of facilities for them, including manual acceptance of applications for citizenship and consideration of an affidavit filed before the authority in return for citizenship renunciation certificate in case of the individual having a Pakistani passport. The same facilities were to be extended to the children of such refugees.

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  1. A
    Abhinav Gour
    Apr 17, 2016 at 1:53 pm
    I
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    1. A
      Abhinav Gour
      Apr 17, 2016 at 1:53 pm
      I
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        Ding Dong
        Apr 17, 2016 at 9:40 am
        Absolutely 50% of land in Kasmor valley must be reserved for Hindus from stan , afterall they have been deprived of land ownership in India for all of the post independence period
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          PPrasad78
          Apr 17, 2016 at 7:54 am
          Great move, Hindus must look after one another first before helping out others !lt;br/gt;Watch out now - Award Wapasi thugs and the Lal am useless brigade will now make some noises on "Intolerance" !
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          1. A
            Amit Khattar
            May 24, 2016 at 7:35 am
            By when the below is expected?lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Powers will be given to the Collectors or the District Magistrates of a few select districts in Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh for a period of two years for registration of such stani nationals as citizens of India.
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              anadi
              Apr 17, 2016 at 10:39 am
              Superb !!! Really Humanitarian effort by Modi Govt .. Appeal to st ani Govt - make similar arrangements for Muslims (like Shahrukh Khan) who feel they are NOT happy in India, so that they can become stani Citizen
              Reply
              1. B
                Babu Gupta
                Apr 17, 2016 at 1:26 pm
                There are some 195 countries in the world at present. There are some 50 – 60 muslim countries (world potion about 22%), as many Christian countries (world potion about 31%) and no Hindu country for 15% of world Hindu potion. India (also Nepal) is the only country where Hindus are in majority but the country itself is secular officially and pro-minority in reality for vote bank. In India also, there are places like Kashmir Valley from where Hindus have been driven out and are living like refugees in their own countries. Are Hindus very large hearted, cowards or too naive for not having even one designated country for them? Please comment.
                Reply
                1. K
                  karthik
                  Apr 17, 2016 at 7:40 am
                  Finally a Govt. caring for Hindus too.Long awaited development.
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    sonu
                    Apr 17, 2016 at 7:46 am
                    very good move
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      AMJAD
                      Apr 17, 2016 at 8:08 am
                      give them which govt can give for the name of hindu religion but there is no needs to give anything who are born in india but they are chirstians,muslim and dalit,
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                        AMJAD
                        Apr 17, 2016 at 9:21 pm
                        indians have first right on india not any non indian hindu.
                        Reply
                        1. M
                          Manohar Lal
                          Apr 17, 2016 at 3:01 pm
                          India must protect the interests of all Hindus and Sikhs living abroad. India is the only country for these communities to return.
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                          1. M
                            Manohar Lal
                            Apr 17, 2016 at 2:58 pm
                            Shabhash Modi Shabhash. Government must protect the interests of Hindus and Sikhs living in Muslim Countries. India is the only country for the Hindus and Sikhs living abroad to return.
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                            1. M
                              manu
                              Apr 17, 2016 at 8:37 am
                              in good well exchange bangla and pak shoiuld accept the intolerant facinig minority from india likes fo aamir ,sharukh and thier followers who are not ahppy with idlo whroshiers..
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                              1. M
                                manu
                                Apr 17, 2016 at 8:35 am
                                the minority who are not happy with indi should be given same status in bangla and paksitan..and you can easily migrate to that place where you dnt have to live with idol worshippers..
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                                1. m
                                  michelle_vedic_human
                                  Apr 17, 2016 at 11:25 am
                                  And then you bend down and worship a empty idol building you call Mecca,,,,dead bodies with Chadians in dargah
                                  Reply
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                                    Neeraj khatri
                                    Jul 19, 2016 at 2:11 pm
                                    This is the good step modiji has taken for them lt;br/gt;Butlt;br/gt; What for the other districts...bht sari cities h aisi choti choti jha stani hindu rthe hailt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Unka kya ?
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                                      Neutral
                                      Apr 17, 2016 at 1:05 pm
                                      What is the proof of their being Hindus, since Hinduism does not impose tests of faith like Abrahamic faiths? Do they practice Varna system or Hindu Sanskars? lt;br/gt;Why giving natural rights in prime cities to non-citizens? Why not fund and support them in their own land? This is another form of vote bank similar to EU and Congress.lt;br/gt;Think twice and think deeper before supporting such measures.
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                                        Abhijit Dan
                                        Dec 25, 2016 at 2:39 pm
                                        Great steps taken by present NDA government. Those minority peoples,belonging from stan were helpless, can neither go to stan where they may face atrocities,nor stay Here in India for w life. So this government was closely monitoring their hardship and has taken this decision. Long live Modi ji.
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                                          fagen bihari
                                          Apr 17, 2016 at 1:31 pm
                                          This is called humanitarian policy.The real nationalistic Govt has given importance to remove the hardship of our fellowmen who have been crying for several years for citizenship. Modi you are really very large hearted .Thank you .
                                          Reply
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                                            Sanjeev
                                            Apr 20, 2016 at 12:23 pm
                                            But about Hindu whose are live since the time of independence of 1947 who live in Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir those they do not have right
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