A visual of Pakistani Hindus celebrating in their resettlement colony in Delhi on Tuesday. Photo/ANI
A visual of Pakistani Hindus celebrating in their resettlement colony in Delhi on Tuesday. Photo/ANI

Delhi: Hindu refugees at Majnu-Ka-Tila eagerly waiting for passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 in RS

Joymala Bagchi | Updated: Dec 10, 2019 18:23 IST

By Joymala Bagchi
New Delhi [India], Dec 10 (ANI): Phulbanti, a Class VII student who migrated to India from Pakistan in 2013 with her family, is looking forward to the day when she can proudly hold a card, which declares her and her siblings as Indian citizens.
Speaking to ANI, Phulbanti said: "Getting a citizenship card is essential because otherwise, it is really difficult for us to get admission in schools."
Approximately 700 Pakistani Hindus, staying in resettlement colonies of Shri Ram Hindu Camp, are eagerly for the passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Rajya Sabha after the Lower House of Parliament passed the Bill on Monday.
Living in semi-permanent structures in narrow allies of Majnu-Ka-Tila, the immigrants earn their livelihood as street vendors or hawkers.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill essentially talks about granting citizenship to non-Muslim minorities experiencing religious persecution from neighbouring countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday with 293 votes in favour and 82 against.
The clauses mention that Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come to India on or within December 31, 2014, will be granted Indian citizenship and not be treated as illegal immigrants.
Sona Das, who from Pakistan's Sindh province settle here in 2013, told ANI: "In 2013, we came to India, faced with many difficulties. Today after so many years we are very hopeful about the Bill, which will be introduced in the Rajya Sabha soon. We have nothing against anybody but we think that getting citizenship is our right."
"We are celebrating the decision of the Indian government. We are requesting all the parties to come forward and help us. We came here not because we wanted to but because we had no other options," said Dayal Das, another refugee in the Hindu camp.
The Bill, which is to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha soon, witnessed huge protests from the opposition parties after Home Minister Amit Shah tabled it in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
Since 1955 when the Citizenship Act was introduced, it has amended four times -- 1986, 2003, 2005, and 2015. (ANI)