Hindu pilgrims allowed to cross border after protest

The pilgrims have been issued visas by the Indian High Commission but have been stopped by the government.

Web Desk/rana Tanveer August 10, 2012

LAHORE: The Hindu pilgrims earlier stopped at the Wagah Border for not having permits issued by the interior ministry were allowed to cross into India after they staged protests there, Express News reported on Friday.

Immigration authorities had stopped 242 Hindu pilgrims from crossing the Wagah Border into India but allowed two families, who had permits issued by the interior ministry, to do so.

The permit, according to Express News, is a No Objection Certificate (NoC).

The remaining people were stopped in wake of the notice taken by the interior ministry on news of possible migration of various hindu families from Pakistan fearing persecution and danger to their life and property.

One of the pilgrims said that it was illegal not to let them cross the border as they had their visas with them.

“If we are not allowed to go to India, why were we issued visas?” he said, adding that they had been travelling for hours.

Dispelling rumors of migration, he said that they perform this pilgrimage every year and always return to Pakistan.

Only six people had reached Lahore from Sindh last night and the rest arrived by bus.

An imigration official said that the families barred from leaving were told that their cases would be decided within 48 hours.

Earlier, Interior Minister Rehman Malik had said that it was propaganda and that the people were going on a pilgrimage, adding that the Indian High Commission had been asked to explain why it issued visas to 250 Hindu citizens of Pakistan.

Provincial Excise and Taxation Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla had also dismissed the travel of the Hindus and explained their visas as 40-day pilgrimage travel permits.

Facebook Conversations