New Delhi, June 3: There are 2 lakh Hindus living in Pakistan and Bangladesh who face religious persecution. With Pakistan and Bangladesh upping a radical approach considerably, most of the Hindus in those countries have left out of fear and reached India.
The Indian government has decided that it would cater to all of them and give them the legal status to remain in India.
Further an amendment to the Citizenship Act of 1955 will also give these persons the right to claim Indian citizenship. This is a very ambitious project for the government of India and sources point out that the amendments would be made at the earliest.
In no man's land:
For the 2 lakh odd Hindus living in Pakistan and Bangladesh has been no short of a nightmare. There are radical groups that have targeted them several times. Worse they are looked down upon and treated as outsiders.
While many dealt with being treated as outsiders, the trouble began when the radicals started to target them.
Most of them left Pakistan and Bangladesh and took refuge in India. There is a sense of fear, panic and insecurity among many. They feel that they are in no man's land.
The government which has been talking tough on illegal immigration from Bangladesh has decided that it was time to make a difference and the protect the Hindus from Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Officials say that it is a humanitarian approach and not driven by any agenda. We do not want them to feel suffocated and insecure. The proposal now is to amend the Citizens Act. Provisions of the Citizen's Act, Passport Act and Foreigners Act would be amended.
Once these amendments come into force, these persons will not longer be called as illegal immigrants. They would also have the right to apply for Indian citizenship. The draft note would be put up before the Cabinet for approval this month itself.