Union Government announced concessions for minority refugees from Pakistan and Afghanistan
Union Government relaxed Indian citizenship norms for Hindu and Sikh refugees from Pakistan and Afghanistan who entered India before 31 December 2014.
Union Ministry of Home Affairs on 13 November 2014 relaxed Indian citizenship norms for Hindu and Sikh refugees from Pakistan and Afghanistan. As per the relaxed norms, now the refugees from both the countries, who have entered prior to 31 December 2009, can apply for the Indian citizenship manually.
This decision of the government was taken in the light of refugees facing difficulties in submitting online applications. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh directed the Foreigners Division of his ministry that while approving the concessions, grievances of these applicants should be suitably addressed.
Norms of application
• At the time when the applicant will submit the citizenship application at the office of the District Magistrate, Collector or Deputy Commissioner should be valid. Apart from this, affidavit filed before the authority prescribed under Rule 38 of the Citizenship Rules, 2009 will be considered in lieu of renunciation certificate.
• Children of refugees who entered India on basis of their parents’ passport and those who were born in India can apply for Indian citizenship without passport after regularization of their stay in India. They will have to register with the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) in the district concerned for the regularisation.
Refugees in India
• There are about 400 Pakistani Hindu refugee settlements in cities like Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Jaipur.
• Several Sikh refugees live in Punjab, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
• About one lakh minority community refugees from Pakistan and Afghanistan are living in India
Union Government took the step two months after it gave its nod to set up a task force to monitor and expedite the processing of the citizenship and Long Term visa (LTV) applications of such people.