South Asians for Human Rights

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Hindu refugees who migrated from Sindh province of Pakistan display their passports as they support the Citizenship Amendment Act in Ahmadabad, Monday, Dec. 23, 2019.

Hindu refugees who migrated from Sindh province of Pakistan display their passports as they support the Citizenship Amendment Act in Ahmadabad, Monday, Dec. 23, 2019. (File | PTI)

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: Facing religious persecution, over 30,000 Pakistani Hindus arrived in last five years of which a large number of them are still in India either on Long Time Visa (LTV) or are overstaying illegally.  

Sources in the intelligence agencies point out that the Pakistani Hindus arrived on a 25-day visa issued for religious visit through road and rail link via the Attari-Wagah border in Punjab and Munabo border in Rajasthan’s Barmer district.

Many of such visitors either stay with their relatives or are scattered in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Gujarat among other places.

“Many of them applied for a long term visa to stay back in India on health grounds or by giving any other solid reason so that they are granted LTVs and many of them got,’’ said a senior officer.

The LTV holders are allowed free movement within the state where they live and can transfer the same documents from one state to another, said sources.  

Many Pakistani Hindus are staying illegally as they have reportedly not got visas, the official said. 

But what concerns the intelligence setup is the possibility of Pakistani agencies sending their operatives in the garb of persecuted minorities.

Sources said that last year about 100 groups of Hindu devotees came to India from Pakistan and each group had about 50 members. This year, the sources said, at least 70 to 80 such groups may arrive in India for religious visits.

Sources said that agents in Sindh and Lahore in Pakistan charge about Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per devotee in Pakistani currency and get papers prepared so that such visitors get an Indian visa for their visit.

‘Help for three Hindu girls’

With reports suggesting that three Hindu girls were abducted in Pakistan in last few days, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) will take up this issue with the Ministry of External Affairs, DSGMC president Manjinder Singh Sirsa said that three Hindu girls, including two from Sindh and one from Jacobabad, had been abducted in the last 48 hours. 

Sirsa claimed that the Pakistan Police was not helping the parents of these abducted girls despite their repeated appeals requesting the Central government to take up this matter with Pakistan, he also urged the UN Human Rights Council to look into the matter and restore the dignity of the minorities in Pakistan.  

Sirsa said that he had already brought the matter to the notice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  

Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/

Updated On: 20th January 2020