scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Monday, May 23, 2022

60 Pakistan Hindus cross into India at Attari-Wagah border, some say may seek asylum

Shiromani Akali Dal leader and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee president Manjinder Singh Sirsa received four “Dalit Hindu Sikh families” who he claimed had were facing religious persecution in Pakistan.

Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Amritsar |
Updated: February 4, 2020 11:04:36 am
SAD leader and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee president Manjinder Singh Sirsa Sirsa receiving families at Attari ICP. Express

About 60 Pakistani Hindus Monday crossed over to India through the Attari-Wagah border carrying tourist visa with some of them indicating that they felt unsafe in the neighbouring country and hoped that India will grant them citizenship.

Shiromani Akali Dal leader and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee president Manjinder Singh Sirsa received four “Dalit Hindu Sikh families” who he claimed had were facing religious persecution in Pakistan. He said he will urge Centre to grant them Indian citizenship under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

“These families have come to India to take refuge as they are religiously persecuted in Pakistan. I was in touch with them for a long time and all of them want to become Indian citizens. They were facing many hardships in Pakistan…the daughters of a family were kidnapped and forced to convert,” Sirsa said without divulging the details of the family.

“Right now I have four families which want to live in India and do not want to go back to Pakistan. One of them is family of doctors. The have high hopes from CAA. There are many such families coming from Pakistan. I will meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah along with the victim families and request him to grant them citizenship as soon as possible,” Sirsa later said in a Facebook post.

Best of Express Premium

Delhi Confidential: Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and his love for JapanesePremium
Nikhat Zareen: ‘People told my father that boxing was a men’s sportPremium
Remove harmonium from Golden Temple? Sikh music scholars strike differing...Premium
Front running: Sebi likely to soon initiate stringent actionPremium

The CAA envisages giving Indian nationality to members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 due to religious persecution there.

According to BSF officials, not wanting to be named, the number of Hindus from Pakistan using this border to come to India has increased significantly after the new citizenship law was notified. The Hindu and Sikh families mostly arrive on tourist visa to visit gurdwaras and temples or to meet their relatives in India.

Most of those who crossed over to India on Monday belonged to Sindh and Karachi areas. Some of them carried luggage and at least one of them that he will try to seek asylum in India.

Parkash Dev, in his mid 40s, who hails from Sindh said, “I have come along with wife and our two children. We are facing trouble in Pakistan. We have very limited economic opportunities there. Our daughters are threatened there. I know a family whose only son was shot due to his religion. I have read about the CAA and I am hopeful that India will welcome us. It is our country. It was mistake of my ancestors that they didn’t come to India after Partition. I don’t want my children to suffer like me,” Parkash Dev said.

However, the other families were non-committal.

Ram Bhel, also from Sindh, said his family hasn’t faced any problems in Pakistan. “We have come here on 25-day tourist visa. I have not thought about staying over in India. We will see what happens next,” Bhel, who is in his 30s, said.

Another tourist Naresh Dahir (25), said, “I don’t know much about CAA, but we have come to know that now Pakistani Hindus will be welcomed in India. It would be great if we are allowed to live in India. However, it does not mean that I am facing any hardship in Pakistan. I have many relatives in India. It would be great if we are given an opportunity to stay here”.

Nishant, who too has his ancestral village in Sindh, said this was his third trip to India. “I know there are many in Pakistan Hindu community who are excited about CAA and living in India, but I am not one of them. I will go back. I think there will be very few who would not like to go back to Pakistan,” he said.

Meanwhile, security and intelligence agencies are keeping a close watch on the Hindu and Hindu Sikh families that have arrived in India in the recent past.

“It is a big issue. What if these families didn’t return? Most of them do not that only those families will get the benefit under CAA who had entered India before December 31, 2014,” said a Punjab Intelligence official, requesting not to be named.

📢 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by indianexpress.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement