Pak Hindu migrants in Jodhpur celebrate passage of citizenship bill in Lok Sabha

Pak Hindu migrants in Jodhpur celebrate passage of citizenship bill in Lok Sabha

JODHPUR: The passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha brought cheers to the Hindu migrants from Pakistan who are living in the city and they are now looking forward to the bill getting a nod from the Rajya Sabha.

Premchand, who had shifted here from Pakistan in 2005 and applied for citizenship later, expressed happiness over this development.

“The government has given a new life to us. We express our gratitude to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the BJP government for giving us a chance to live in India with dignity,” he said, adding that he has applied for citizenship

Hindu Singh Sodha, the president of the Seemant Lok Sangathan, an organisation fighting for the rights of the migrants, said this amendment would make more migrants eligible for citizenship.

“This amendment would make more migrants eligible for citizenship sooner. People had earlier been compelled to wait for 11 long years in this country before applying for citizenship,” said .
He said earlier the bill could not get the nod of the Rajya Sabha.

“We look forward to the bill being passed in the Upper House as well,” Sodha said, adding that the process of granting of citizenship also needed to be expedited as it progressed at a snails pace.

Earlier, the migrants applying for citizenship were required to have stayed in India for at least 11 years, but under the proposed legislation the required period of stay has been reduced to six years.

Another Hindu migrant from Pakistan said the passage of the bill was in the right direction.

“Though, six years is also not a short period, we are still happy that it was cut in half,” he said and expressed hope that it would save them from the trouble of repeated formalities and permissions that require documents.

The bill, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan after facing religious persecution there, was passed in the Lok Sabha a little past midnight on Monday after a heated debate that lasted over seven hours. PTI

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