Pakistani Hindus seek Indian citizenship

Dozens stage protest outside Rajasthan state legislature.

News Desk October 13, 2012

Dozens of Pakistani Hindu pilgrims seeking political asylum in India staged a protest outside Rajasthan’s state legislature on Friday, according to the BBC Urdu Service.

Addressing the gathering, Hindu Singh Sodha, the president of Seemant Lok Sangthan (SLS), an organisation that works for the welfare of Hindus, said that they had come from far-flung areas to seek Indian citizenship.

Protesters marched on the streets and thoroughfares of Jaipur city and shouted, “We’ve been persecuted and look towards India for help”. Later, the protesters carrying placards and banners staged a sit-in outside the state assembly.

“These Hindus are the most persecuted people of the Indian subcontinent – but regrettably the Indian government is not doing anything for them,” Sodha said in his speech.

The SLS demands Indian citizenship for Pakistani Hindus who, according to them, have fled persecution and discrimination. The organisation also calls for a cut in new visa fee as most Pakistani Hindus are too poor to pay the fee.

The protesters included both men and women.

“Sindh is like a nightmare for Hindu women who are kidnapped and sexually abused [by majority Muslim population]. Hindu women working on farmlands are not paid adequately for their labour,” said Khema Bai, a Hindu woman from Sindh.

Chaitan, another Hindu woman from Hyderabad city, concurred. “We’d rather die here than go back to Pakistan. Our daughters are not safe there. They are kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam,” she alleged.

According to the SLS, most of the Pakistani Hindus seeking asylum in India are low-caste Dalits, or from Bheel clan.

Social activist Kveeta says the Indian government should provide food and shelter to these hapless Hindus. “It’s a matter of international human rights – but regrettably, the Indian government has left them in the lurch,” she said.

According to SLS statistics, a camp in Jodhpur houses 355 refugees – while in all 7,000 Hindu refugees in Rajasthan seek Indian citizenship.

The BBC report claims that every week the “Thar Express” train brings 10-20 Hindus to India who don’t want to return to Pakistan. In 2005, India granted citizenship to 13,000 Pakistani Hindus and also relaxed rules for Hindus seeking asylum.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2012.


vikash | 10 years ago | Reply

@conspirator BHARAT is the official name of my motherland but we are not concerned too much about these trivial things you may call it Hind,Sindh,Jambudwip,Aryavrat,India,Hindustan,Bharatkhand and whatever you like. I appealed to Hindus to come to India because i think they are not safe there .I would also like to appeal to Christians,Ahmadias,Hazras,Shiiates and any other other community who don't feel safe in the ''land of pure'' to their own homeland India. We assre you we will not discriminate on the basis of religion ,sect etc

VINOD | 10 years ago | Reply

@BlackJack: You are wrong when you say "and will end up living in refugee camps for years, probably in worse condition than in Pakistan (at least economically). They are fleeing for their lives and not livelihood." All those who came to India, poor or rich, during partition are well settled, prosperous and dignified citizens of India. There is NOT A SINGLE MOHAJIR OR REFUGEE IN INDIA. There are still thousands who are rotting as Mohajirs in Pakistan. we all know the plight and the respect they have in Pakistan. There are Pakistanis rotting in camps of Bangladesh since 71, awaiting clearance from Pakistan to come back.

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