Chhattisgarh: Over 63,000 Refugees From Pakistan, Bangladesh To Benefit From CAA

Chhattisgarh: Over 63,000 Refugees From Pakistan, Bangladesh To Benefit From CAA

As per the records of the Home Affairs Department, presently 62,890 foreigners are residing in the state sans Indian Citizenship.

AVDHESH MALLICKUpdated: Thursday, March 14, 2024, 09:07 AM IST
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Representational photo | Photo: AFP

Raipur: The implementation of Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) in India, ignited fresh debate over the issue. It has opened the gates of opportunities for the thousands of illegal migrant/refugees including Bangladeshi, persecuted Hindus and Muslims residing in Chhattisgarh for a long time to obtain permanent settlement for them. Several of them had applied for citizenship.

The decision has also impacted the politics as well as other demographic factors of the state.

Public feel that more than 63,000 foreign migrants, mainly Pakistani and Bangladeshi living in various parts of Chhattisgarh, will benefit from the Modi government's decision.

As per the records of the Home Affairs Department, presently 62,890 foreigners are residing in the state sans Indian Citizenship.

Residing in Chhattisgarh for over five decades under refugee permits

A good number of these illegal foreigners are those who came to India before 2014. Some of these refugees are residing in Chhattisgarh for more than 50-60 years on refugee resident permit, still lacking citizenship.

In the Pakhanjur area of Bastar division, refugees were allowed to settle during the Indo-Pak war. With the passing of time, the population of these refugees swelled and presently they reside in 133 villages of the Pakhanjur, Kanker district.

The resettlement of Bangladeshi refugees also impacted the demography of the area.

As per the census 2011, the total population of the Kanker is 1.71 lakh out of which 1 lakh people speak Bangla. Similarly, 95% of Pakhanjur town consists of Bangladeshi refugees.

Pakistani refugees in Raipur

In Raipur, more than 1,625 Pakistani refugees reside, majority of them are persecuted Hindus, compelled to leave Pakistan due to targeted atrocities carried out by Muslims and Pakistani government authorities, a Pakistani migrant illegally crossed the border said on the verge of anonymity.

It is a fact that several Pakistani refugees illegally residing in Chhattisgarh have got their Aadhar, ration cards and names enrolled in voter lists, a Sindhi community leader said. But the central government initiative of implementing CAA will now resolve the issue and our people will get permanent citizenship, the leader said.

More than 1,100 Bangladeshi refugees, having no valid documents have become voters of Raipur, one government officer said.

As per the government records, up to October 31, 1979, the government of India permitted 18,458 Bangladeshi refugees to settle in various parts of the Bastar.

As per Raipur police, in Raipur 311 foreigners are residing on visa majority of them came on tourist or education visa, and around 1,625 people are residing on resident permit visa.

Similarly, more than 500 families came to Raipur on visa, got resident permit visas and now wanted citizenship, the police officer said.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Vijay Sharma welcomed the move of Modi government and said, it will help several persecuted Hindus who migrated from countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and others to get citizenship in India. It will also help the refugees to get justice, waiting for citizenship in the state, he said.

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