Tuesday, September 8, 2015

India allows Bangladeshi, Pakistani minorities overstay

The Indian government has decided to allow Hindus and other minority groups from neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh to stay in the country without documentation.

The home ministry said in a press release Monday it would allow any minorities who arrived before the end of 2014 to stay based "on humanitarian considerations", if they had entered the country without a visa or it had expired. 

"There are reports that a number of Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals belonging to minority communities in those countries, such as Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Parsis and Buddhists, were compelled to seek shelter in India due to religious persecution or fear of religious persecution," said the statement.

The decision has been welcomed by members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which follows a Hindu nationalist ideology and has previously advocated for India to allow entry for Hindus from neighboring countries.

“Our government was very much concerned about the plight of minorities in Pakistan and Bangladesh. The decision to allow them to stay in India even without valid documents was necessary as they had suffered a lot in their own country in the hands of hardline Muslim groups," BJP MP Alok Sangar told Anadolu Agency.

Minorities from Pakistan's southern Sindh region, who have been living in India's Madhya Pradesha and Rajasthan states, also welcomed the move.

Sabu Rijhwani, President of the Pujya Sindhi Panchayat, or Sindhi Federation, told Anadolu Agency: “Our [Sindhi] brothers suffered a lot in Pakistan. Now they can stay here. We want the government to grant them permanent residency.”

The move has not been popular with all however, with some of India's own minorities claiming it was taken to satisfy the country's Hindu majority.

A Muslim lawmaker from Uttar Pradesh state said, on condition of anonymity, that those accepted in would not return to their own countries and complained the decision was to suit the Hindu population, rather than Indian minorities.

While campaigning for office during last year's general election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi came under fire for stating that after his election undocumented Bangladeshi Muslims in India should have their "bags packed" when he took power but that Hindus were welcome in India. 


1 comment:

  1. Survivors of some of the worst anti-Christian violence in India in recent times have appealed to the president for help, accusing the state of failing to provide adequate justice and compensation seven years on from the deadly communal attacks...

    Clashes between Hindus and minority Christians erupted in Kandhamal, a rural district in the eastern state of Odisha, in August 2008 after the murder of a Hindu religious leader.

    According to the Kandhamal Committee for Peace and Justice, more than 90 people, largely Christians, were killed and 56,000 people displaced. The government says the death toll was 38.............channelnewsasia.com


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