Denial of citizenship to West Pakistan refugees was violation of constitutional rights: Singh

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 07-01-2021 22:55 IST | Created: 07-01-2021 22:55 IST
Denial of citizenship to West Pakistan refugees was violation of constitutional rights: Singh

Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh on Thursday said the denial of citizenship rights to West Pakistan refugees for over 70 years was violation of constitutional and human rights.

He said after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's courageous decision, now they will have the same rights as any other citizen of India and their children will get a level-playing field in jobs and various other new opportunities being made available by the government.

A delegation of West Pakistan Refugees Action Committee has met the minister and submitted a memorandum, according to an official statement.

''West Pakistan Refugees today thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for granting them citizenship rights after a long wait of over seven decades,'' said the statement issued by the Personnel Ministry.

During a half-an-hour meeting with them, Singh said it was not only violation of constitutional rights but also violation of human rights of these refugees, who were denied citizenship rights for 70 years just because they had chosen to settle in Jammu and Kashmir, whereas two of their counterpart refugees who chose to settle in other parts of India -- Inder Kumar Gujral and Manmohan Singh -- went to become prime ministers, it said.

''During all these 70 years, our generation vanished/perished as we were denied nationality, caste and other certificates by the then Jammu & Kashmir government as they considered us aliens. Resultant, in absence of these documents we were unable to get admission in schools, colleges and professional colleges and did not have even right to vote for the State Assembly,” said the memorandum submitted by the President of West Pakistan Refugees Action Committee, Labbha Ram Gandhi.

The memorandum further stated that with the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A of the Constitution and conversion of Jammu and Kashmir into Union Territory, all the rights have automatically been bestowed upon these West Pakistani refugees.

In another memorandum submitted on behalf of the Border Sanghrash Samiti of Arnia, the Modi government was thanked for giving reservation to the people living along the International Border (IB) on the same lines as for the people living along the Line of Control, the statement said.

Considering the constraints of the border people, it was requested that the Union Territory government could consider sanctioning a degree college in the area and certain other facilities as well, it added.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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