Pakistani Hindus living in India get ready to file online applications for citizenship

    The Hawk
    March13/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Nearly 2,000 Pakistani Hindus in Nagpur are elated by the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 implementation, preparing for Indian citizenship to avoid visa hassles and paperwork.

    Sindhi Community refugees

    Nagpur: Delighted by the Centre’s move to notify the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA), nearly 2,000 Pakistani Hindus living in Nagpur are preparing to seek Indian citizenship.

    The migrants from the neighbouring country are figuring out the nitty-gritty of filing online applications that will enable them to live in India without the hassle of seeking visa extensions and other paperwork.

    Besides, some of their relatives who entered the country in recent years are seeking relaxation in the cut-off date to accommodate them.

    The Centre Monday implemented the CAA, notifying the rules four years after the law was passed by Parliament to fast-track citizenship for undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31, 2014.

    Vinod Raheja from Ghotki town in Sindh province of Pakistan said he and seven of his family members crossed over to India through the Wagah-Attari border on a visit visa hours on December 31, 2014.

    Raheja said they hadn’t even dreamt about the “life-changing” event that would unfold 10 years later, referring to CAA. He is among those who have already submitted their online applications for Indian citizenship.

    A resident of Nagpur’s Jaripatka locality, which has a sizable population of Sindhis, Raheja said he was a cloth merchant in Pakistan when he came to India with his wife, two children, parents and two other relatives.

    “We have been staying here on long-term visas. We are thrilled with the implementation of CAA as we will now become the citizens of India,” said Raheja, thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for making CAA a reality.

    Raheja, who works with a private company, has requested PM Modi to relax the cut-off date for people like his mother-in-law and her family who came to India six months after his entry.

    “It will be a huge relief as they have to go through procedures like long-term visa and other paperwork,” he said.

    Sagar Wadhva came with his family to India from Quetta in Pakistan’s Balochistan province in 2012, when he was in Class 9th.

    The 27-year-old businessman from Nagpur said he is excited that India will now be his permanent home. His online application too has been submitted, said Wadhva.

    Rajesh Jhambia, a local social worker who works for the rights of such migrants, told PTI that they have already received 100 applications for online submissions. “The applications will be filed by Sunday. Around 2,000 citizenship applications will be filed from Nagpur,” he said.

    Like Raheja, Jambia also requested PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to consider the cases of such migrants who came to India after 2014.