Indore: Following authorising district collector to grant Indian citizenship to Pakistan national Sindhi community migrants currently living in city, the first batch of 35 migrants received Indian citizenship certificate at a programme in city on Sunday. However, there are still over 6,000 such migrants in city who are awaiting their much-needed citizenship certificates.
The first batch of Pak migrants received the citizenship certificate from Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan at a grand ceremony held at Pujya Jackababad panchayat bhawan. Ashawanti Bai Lalchand (78), perhaps the oldest one in the batch, was the first one to receive the citizenship certificate from Mahajan. The septuagenarian had been admittedly waiting for this moment since she migrated to the city some 15 years ago.
Addressing the function Mahajan said, “Today I am handing over the citizenship certificate with heavy heart as the people, who are getting it today, had to bear a great pain to lose their homeland just to save their Hindu religion.”
Commenting on the concern of Sindhi migrants that 14 among 24 months of stipulated authority given to collector to grant citizenship have already passed without much achievement on ground, the LS Speaker assured that the duration of authority can be extended if needed.
In this contest she referred to the legislative Bill which would provide permanent authority to collector to grant Indian citizenship to Pak migrants of Sindhi community. She said though the Bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha, it is yet to get approved by the Rajya Sabha due to lack of majority in treasury bench.
Addressing the function collector Nishant Warwade also tried to address the concerns of Sindhi community leaders. He said that “The LS Speaker is here, for whom this facility could be made available, and with her support this tenor can further be extended.” He informed that district administration has received NOCs from Pakistan high commission for 342 cases.
Earlier, mayor Malini Gaud and IDA chairman and Sindhi community leader Shankar Lalwani addressed the gathering. They appreciated the Speaker for her hard effort in making the dream of so many Pak migrants come true.
Lalwani said “Demand for the facility had been continuously raised since a long time and it could be addressed only after our party came to power.” A large number of Sindhi community leaders, including Raja Manghawani, Ratan Chand Rajani, Jaipaldas Gehi and Chandrakumar Makhhija, were present on the occasion.