Indore: As many as 75 refugees from Pakistan, belonging to the Sindhi community and living here for several years, were granted Indian citizenship at a ceremony on Tuesday as part of the commemoration of 75 years of India’s independence.
Muralidhar (70), one of the refugees, said he arrived in India three decades ago and was waiting for this day.
“It has been 30 years since I left Pakistan and reached India. Finally I have got Indian citizenship. I am feeling very happy, as if today is Diwali,” he said, overwhelmed by emotions.
Anjali, a 25-year-old refugee from the neighbouring country, said “Women in Pakistan do not get the opportunities to progress and have education with respect and independence which we are getting in India. The people in India have accepted us very well. BJP MP from Indore Shankar Lalwani, addressing the program, alleged that Hindu temples are attacked in Pakistan and the community is facing persecution there.
“At least 1,000 Hindus are forcibly converted in Pakistan’s Sindh province every year. Scared, they are forced to seek shelter in India,” he said.
The Indian government is providing all help to the refugees from Pakistan and in Indore alone more than 600 persons have been granted citizenship this year, the MP said.
About 3,000 more applications for citizenship are pending in Indore, Lalwani said, and asked the administration to process them speedily.