Allow ‘minorities’ into India, says HC

Court asks Centre to bring in a law

The Meghalaya High Court has asked the Centre to bring in a law to let people of religious and ethnic minority communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan to be given citizenship without any cut-off year or any questions asked. Allowing a writ petition by Amon Rana, an Army recruit who was denied domicile certificate by the Meghalaya government, Justice S.R. Sen said the Centre should have a law allowing Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, Christians, Khasis, Jaintias and Garos from neighbouring countries to live in India “with full dignity without making any cut-off year and be given citizenship without any question or production of any documents.” In a 37-page judgment, he said that such people “may be allowed to come at any point of time to settle in India and the government may provide rehabilitation properly and declare them citizens of India.” He also said Hindus and Sikhs residing elsewhere across the globe should be automatically considered for citizenship in India. “Pakistan declared themselves as an Islamic country and India, since it was divided on the basis of religion, should have also been declared as a Hindu country but it remained as a secular country. Even today, in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, the Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis, Khasis, Jaintias and Garos are tortured and they have no place to go and those Hindus who entered India during Partition are still considered as foreigners, which is highly illogical, illegal and against the principle of natural justice,” he said.

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