New Delhi: Keeping its promise to provide relief to minorities from neighbouring countries, the NDA government is holding special camps for granting them Long Term Visa (LTV) or citizenship.
The special camps are being held in seven states -- Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Delhi-- for the benefits of Hindu and Sikh refugees from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The first two camps were held in Thane and Mumbai today and similar camps will be held in other places till July 27, a Home Ministry official said.
The move to grant citizenship rights to minority Hindus is in consonance with the BJP's declared aim of positioning India as a refuge for Hindus fleeing persecution anywhere in the world, much like Israel's stance towards Jews.
In its election manifesto before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had declared India as "a natural home for persecuted Hindus" who "shall be welcome to seek refuge".
The special camps will examine the applications for LTV and citizenship and dispose off as much as possible, the official said.
The Home Ministry will also facilitate the refugees open bank accounts, purchase of dwelling units for self-occupation and self-employment, get driving licence, PAN card, Aadhar card.
The special camps will also be held at Pune, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Rajkot, Kutch (Bhuj), Patan, Bhopal, Indore, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Lucknow, Raipur and West Delhi.
There are an estimated two lakh refugees, belonging to minorities communities, from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh living in India.