More than 100 Hindus from Pakistan get Indian citizenship in Gujarat

With the Narendra Modi government at the Centre simplifying rules for Pakistani Hindus in exile to get Indian citizenships, as many as 114 people from Pakistan, most of them Hindus, have reportedly received Indian citizenship in Gujarat.

Sharing his joy 50 year old Nandlal Meghani, a resident of Ghatlodia of Gujarat was quoted as saying, “We are impressed with the common man’s life here in India.” Meghani came to India along with his family 16 years back selling his home and business to make a new start here in India. Meghani who was engaged in auto parts business in Pakistan has started a home renovation firm in Ghatlodia.

The other families of Hindus from Pakistan also share similar stories of joy in India and recalled the horror of terror in Pakistan.

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“The menace of terrorism had made it difficult for us to survive. When we ventured out every day, we remained unsure whether we would return home in the evening,” said Kishanlal Andani, 59, who had been migrated to India in 2005 with his wife and four sons. Andani, who used to own a general store in Pakistan’s Sindh province, has started a utensils shop along with his children.

Dr Vishandas Mankani, 50, a resident of Sola Road who came to India in 2001 said, “We are impressed with development in India, which is absent in Pakistan. Safety is also something one can vouch for in India.”

The union government had earlier simplified rules for Hindus and other minority communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to get for Indian citizenship. Changes have been made in various provisions of the Citizenship Rules 2009. As per the changes, powers have been delegated to Collector’s office to process applications seeking citizenship. Earlier, the pleas had to be made to the Union Home Ministry and a renunciation certificate was compulsory from the home country to get citizenship. Now the provisions have been done away with. The registration free to apply for Indian citizenship has been drastically reduced to as low as Rs 100 from Rs 15,000.

The Monsoon Session of the Parliament has listed a bill to amend the Citizenship Act, which will make it further easy for the Hindus and other minority communities from neighbouring countries to get Indian citizenship.

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