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Hindu family nearly deported to Pak when Shah intervened

The Hindu family that had fled Pakistan was turned down by every authority; finally citizens moved the MHA head to reverse the decision

A Hindu family that fled persecution in Pakistan to seek refuge in Jodhpur of Rajasthan about 6 years ago was going to be sent back soon. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Rajasthan Police had issued a notice asking the six members of the Hindu family on a visa from Pakistan be sent back.

These six members of a Hindu family living in a village in the Rahmiar district of Pakistan had arrived in Jodhpur six years ago after suffering religious persecution, physical and mental torture in their country. Since the issue attracted public attention, this Hindu family had to pay multiple visits to the CID office, district collector and local public representatives in the hope that some authority takes a considerate view of their plight.

Then a section of the local population rose with the appeal that the Pakistani Hindu family should not be sent back to the Islamic country. The women of this family said they would die, but not go back to Pakistan.

Rajasthan CID ordered the head of the family to leave immediately with the members of his family, which includes their daughter. They cited the violation of visa rules for visitors from Pakistan as they would if the visitors were Muslims. The order had come from the Home Ministry, perhaps without the knowledge of Union Home Minister Amit Shah who these days is waxing eloquent about a proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill that will allow non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to stay in India and acquire Indian citizenship.

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The ministry had ordered the deportation of the Hindu family back to Pakistan at a time when a debate over the implementation of NRC across India raged in the public domain, with the West Bengal government vowing to fight the move of the Centre tooth and nail.

But the MHA revised its rule at the eleventh hour and stopped the Rajasthan government, now run by the Indian National Congress, from sending the family back to Pakistan. The Hindu family from Pakistan is staying in India.

Sources in the home ministry confirmed that the political executive intervened on learning about the case, making the bureaucracy revise its robotic response to the situation.

Pakistan, stung by India’s removal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, continues to spew venom against India. Pakistan tried to raise the Kashmir issue in the UN Security Council but failed to force the agency to pressure India. Even prominent Islamic countries like Sudi Arabia refused to align with Pakistan on the question of cornering India for its revised Kashmir policy. During his address to the United Nations General Assembly, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan himself raised the issue of Kashmir, but Pakistan could move no country other than China, Malaysia and Turkey at the UNGA. At the FATF hearing, these are the only countries that supported Pakistan to save it from getting blacklisted. As Pakistan perceives India as a Hindu country, often the local Hindu population has to bear the brunt of general Pakistani mass’s ire, seen recently in the Ghotki riots where a Hindu teacher was framed with false charges and Hindu families in the town attacked.

In this atmosphere, many Hindus seek Indian visa often with the request of letting them attend some festival here. Once Pakistan allows them to leave, they do not wish to return even after the term allowed by the visa is over. An example follows.

Surajit Dasgupta

By Surajit Dasgupta

The founder of Sirf News has been a science correspondent in The Statesman, senior editor in The Pioneer, special correspondent in Money Life and columnist in various newspapers and magazines, writing in English as well as Hindi. He was the national affairs editor of Swarajya, 2014-16. He worked with Hindusthan Samachar in 2017. He was the first chief editor of Sirf News and is now back at the helm after a stint as the desk head of MyNation of the Asianet group.

He is a mathematician by training with interests in academic pursuits of science, linguistics and history. He advocates individual liberty and a free market in a manner that is politically feasible. His hobbies include Hindi film music and classical poetry in Bengali, English, French, Hindi and Urdu.

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