Minister of state for home Nityanand Rai informed Parliament on Wednesday that 391 Afghan and 1,595 Pakistani migrants had been granted Indian citizenship during the last three years (2016-2018).
Responding to a question by member of Parliament Kirodi Lal Meena, Rai informed the Rajya Sabha that the data related to Hindus and Sikh refugees who came from Afghanistan and Pakistan was not centrally maintained.
“As per data available online, 391 Afghani and 1,595 Pakistani migrants have been granted Indian Citizenship during the last three years (2016 to 2018). In 2019, 40 Afghani and 712 Pakistani migrants have been granted Indian Citizenship till December 6,” Rai said in a written reply.
He noted that the provision for online inclusion of citizenship data of migrants from minority communities, including Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians hailing from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, was introduced in 2018.
“According to the data, 927 Sikhs and Hindus from Afghanistan and Pakistan have been granted Indian Citizenship since then,” he added.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to amend the definition of illegal immigrants for Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians, Jains and Buddhists from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who have lived in India without documentation. According to the bill, persons of these communities will be granted Indian citizenship in six years and the cut-off date is December 31, 2014.
According to the government, these communities, minorities in the three Muslim-majority countries, have come to India since they were facing persecution. The Congress has opposed the bill saying it is against the country’s Constitution and secular ethos because it ties citizenship to religion .
Source : Hindustan Times0