Ahmedabad District Collector (DC) office has a special place in the hearts of migrant Pak Hindus of Ahmedabad. This is the venue, where they have got their new identity as the INDIAN CITIZEN after many years. The Pak Hindus were forced to leave their forefathers home, business, land, city in Pakistan –some 10-15 years ago. These Hindu migrants felt that they had no identity. Many say that in Pakistan they feared identifying themselves as Hindus, and in India, they fear being labeled as Pakistanis.
Migrant Pak Hindus gleamed with joy and happiness when they received their Indian citizenship certificates from Dr. Vikrant Pandey – Collector and District Magistrate of Ahmedabad on 22nd June.
90 applicants have been issued citizenship certificates by the office of District Collector office Ahmedabad. The Collector told the large gathering of Hindu migrants that Gujarat Govt. is doing all needful for rehabilitation of migrant Pak Hindus in Gujarat. Last year Gujarat Home Minister Pradip Singh Jadeja has distributed the 104 citizenship certificates (cc) to Hindu migrants. Revenue Minister Kaushik Patel distributed letters and cc to 95 applicants in April 2018 at Tagore Hall. District Collector office has already issued 320 citizenship certificates in total so far. Another lot of 90 Pak Hindus has been given Indian citizenship in July 2018.
Ahmedabad district is first and still no.1 in issuing of Indian citizenship certificates to Hindu migrants from the date of MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) notification of power delegation dated. 23.12.2016. Prime Minister Narendra Bhai Modi’s union cabinet decision of July 2016 is being implemented in Gujarat with full enthusiasm.
Sindh Minority Migrants Association Secretary Rajesh Maheshwari and the team have been representing the migrants’ issues with Gujarat Home department and Ministry of Home Affairs Govt. of India New Delhi. Ministers and MPs have recommended to Govt. of India for early resolution of problems. Last year in April 2017, Joint Parliamentary Committee on Citizenship under the chairmanship of Dr. Satya Pal Singh visited Ahmedabad. They held meetings with Hindu migrants in their localities of Isanpur, Sardarnagar and others and got first-hand information. A Joint meeting of officials of MHA, MEA, Law Ministry, Gujarat Home department, FRRO Ahmedabad, District Collectorate and representatives of migrant Pak Hindus was held at Circuit House Ahmedabad on 18th April, 2017 and discussed the issues.
Among the recipients of citizenship certificates, is elderly lady Mirabai Kirshanlal Bhuptani, who has migrated to India 9 years ago after the kidnapping of her daughter at village Digri Sindh Pakistan. Her daughter Jaymala was kidnapped, forcefully converted and married to a Muslim man. Mirabai’s family registered FIR with police, approached court, local politicians, religious leaders, village elders for 6 months but no one heard his complaint and gave up on ever getting justice in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Finally, they migrated to India with rest of family members leaving behind all home, business, belongings in Pakistan. Now since the elders have become Indians citizens, their sons will apply for Indian citizenship on the basis of parents. They feel safe in India.
Four siblings Rita, Darshna, Laxmi and Sandip got citizenship after 19 years. They have migrated to India in 1999.
Their parents have got Indian citizenship in 2006. They applied but due to different queries from MHA New Delhi, their case dragged on for another 13 years. Finally, they got Indian citizenship with the support of DC officials and personal intervention of District Magistrate of Ahmedabad.
All the applicants experience at DC office Ahmedabad is very good. All the officials at DC/Citizenship branch are polite, courteous, helping to illiterate and ignorant Hindu migrant applicants. They are sensitive to difficulties faced by Hindu migrants at Pakistan and help them in completing the formalities at the earliest possible. District Magistrate Dr. Vikrant Pandey s’ support has made the citizenship grant process at DC office more transparent, fast and hassle free. He himself monitors all the process steps and coordinates with other departments for timely completion of all the formalities. He assured all the Hindu migrants from Pakistan that all the applications will be processed before the time period of 23.12.2018 positively and not a single eligible applicant will be left out.
Sindh Minority Migrants Association (SMMA) representative Rajesh Maheshwari and other members thanked DM Ahmedabad Vikrant Pandey officials of DC Ahmedabad , FRO Ahmedabad and other department for their active support in doing the needful. SMMA requested MHA Govt. of India to adopt DC Ahmedabad model for fast processing of Hindu migrants’ citizenship applications.
SMMA wants to request the Prime Minister of India, Union Home Minister, MHA to extend the time period of delegation of power of citizenship to 2 more years up to 23.12.2020 so that maximum Hindu migrants can benefit and get Indian citizenship.
The following article has been submitted to www.currentriggers.com by Sindh Minority Migrant Association group and only minor editing has been done for convenient reading. The views are of the groups’ own.