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Camp for Hindu migrants from Pakistan to apply for Indian citizenship

A camp for receiving applications from eligible Hindu migrants from Pakistan seeking Indian citizenship began here today.



Jodhpur: A camp for receiving applications from eligible Hindu migrants from Pakistan seeking Indian citizenship began here today.

This is the third such camp. Earlier two were held in Jaisalmer and Barmer last month while the fourth camp is scheduled in Jaipur later this week.

The first day of the two-day camp witnessed a huge turnout of the migrants.

City Magistrate Durgesh Bissa said that the camp has been set up to facilitate those migrants, who have completed seven years of stay in Jodhpur.

There are approximately 2,300 migrants in Jodhpur district meeting this eligibility, of which 800 have already applied and remaining have an opportunity to apply for citizenship in these camps.

"Though the decision of granting citizenship rested with the state and central governments, this camp would help fresh applicants to apply for citizenship without any hassle as all concerned departments and formalities have been provided under one roof with proper guidance to them," said Bissa.

However, the migrants demanded reduction in fees and simplification of the process. "Our main objective is not the application for the citizenship but the drop in the citizenship fee, reduction in the eligibility period from seven years to five years and delegation of power of citizenship to the district magistrate," said Hindu Singh Sodha, President of the Seemant Lok Sangthan (SLS).

In 2005, the conditions were changed making it difficult for these migrants to apply for citizenship, Sodha said.

"Most of these migrants are very poor and are not able to pay the hefty fees," he said.

According to a rough estimate, there are 20,000 Pakistani Hindu migrants in Rajasthan, of which 40 per cent are eligible for the Indian citizenship.

From Zee News

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