CAA: Madhya Pradesh’s 10,000 Sindhi Residents Likely To Get Indian Citizenship

CAA: Madhya Pradesh’s 10,000 Sindhi Residents Likely To Get Indian Citizenship

They have been living in India on long-term visas for decades

Staff ReporterUpdated: Wednesday, March 13, 2024, 10:33 AM IST
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CAA: Madhya Pradesh’s 10,000 Sindhi Residents Likely To Get Indian Citizenship |

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): About 10,000 Sindhi residents of Madhya Pradesh hope to become Indian citizens with Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) having come into force. They have been staying in the country on long-term visas for decades. On March 11, the union government notified the rules under Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The CAA was passed by Parliament in 2019 amid protests across the country.

The Act expedites the citizenship process for non-Muslims including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians who migrated from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan due to religious persecution and reached India before 2014.

The Act has faced numerous delays and constant criticism from Opposition parties. Sindhu Education Welfare Association president Durgesh Keswani told Free Press that 10,000 Sindhi residents living in Bhopal, Indore, Ujjain, Balaghat, Sagar, Vidisha and other places in the state don’t have Indian citizenship. Of them, 8,000 residents are from Indore and 400 are from Bhopal. “We have been fighting for them for a long time. Our wait is over. I want to thank our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for this.”

According to Keswani, they held a camp for non-citizen Sindhis when late Shushma Swaraj was Leader of Opposition in 2012-2013. When she became external affairs minister, she eased citizenship rules, allowing collectors to grant citizenship. “We have handed over citizenship certificates to Sindhi residents who migrated from Pakistan in or prior to 2011,” he said.

Widow Kanta Bai, 58, said she came to Bhopal from Pakistan with her parents in 1982. She has been struggling for citizenship after her parents’ death. “I had no idea what the issue was all about. My father and mother who died in 2002 and 2010 respectively used to deal with this. But after their death, I had to go to collectorate and police station for document verification specially when my one leg is paralysed,” she said. “Now, I want my death certificate to mention that I was an Indian,” she added. Sangeeta Bai (55) from Bhopal has also applied for citizenship. “I came to Bhopal with my husband in 2005. He died four years ago. All members of my family have got citizenship except me,” she said. Anil Kumar who works at a shop came to Bhopal in 2008 with his family. “I got citizenship last year. I have applied for citizenship for my children who are studying and still waiting for it,” he said.    

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