Visas of about 480 Pakistani Hindus, who had come to India with the complaint that they were being victimised across the border, have been extended for a month.
The Union Home Ministry said their plea for staying back here permanently will be treated individually and on merit basis as in the case of any other political asylum seekers.
Month-long visas of the Pakistani Hindus who had entered the country through the Rajasthan border on the pretext of coming to attend Mahakumbh in Allahabad had expired on April 8. Now, the visas have been extended for a month as the ministry has not taken a call on their status, said sources.
“We will consider their applications sympathetically. Since it takes time to take any decision on their appeals, we have extended their visas for a month,” a ministry official said.
Regarding the Indian citizenship, the group had applied to the Delhi government, which has sought home ministry’s opinion in the case.
However, there have been instances when government had given citizenship to asylum seekers in Gujarat in 1970s. In the North-East, too, people from Bangladesh were given citizenship in the past.
It is learnt that Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal had also written to Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, requesting him to give citizenship to Hindus coming from across the border.