Malaysian woman loses citizenship after her name appears in Indian voters list

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Petaling Jaya, Jul 5 (ANI): A Malaysia-born woman has been living in limbo for the past eight years, after losing her citizenship when her name appeared in a voter registration list in India.

In 2002, Mageswari Koothan received a notice from the National Registration Depart-ment telling her that she was no longer a Malaysian after it found she was registered as a voter in India.

The 52-year-old, who stayed in India after marrying an Indian national at 16, has been returning to Malaysia regularly.

"While the Government has revoked my citizenship, India's Home Ministry stamped my passport for overstaying and granted me a one-way exit to leave the country in 2004," The Star quoted her, as saying.

Mageswari, who has been appealing against the department's decision, said she had never registered as a voter nor voted in India.

Her troubles began when she wanted to renew her passport in 1989 at the Malaysian High Commission in India.

She was informed that her documents had to be sent to Malaysia for renewal and 13 years later she received the citizenship revocation notice.

"This is indeed perplexing. As a Malaysian citizen, how could I have registered as a voter in India?" asked Mageswari.

"The Immigration Department informed me that I would be able to get back my passport in 2008, after being suspended for three years since I overstayed in India," said Mageswari.

She assumed everything was okay until she received another letter from the department in 2008 stating that her citizenship had been revoked again. "Now I am stateless, and I have not seen my children and husband since I came here in 2002." (ANI)

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