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India Allow Minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh to Stay without Papers
Oct 23, 2015

India has decided to allow minority refugees from Bangladesh and Pakistan to stay in the country even after expiry of their visas on humanitarian grounds. The central government has decided, on humanitarian considerations, to exempt Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals belonging to minority communities who have entered India on or before December 31, 2014, in respect of their entry and stay in India without proper documents or after the expiry of relevant documents.

  • The decision has been taken under Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and Foreigners Act, 1946.

  • The government issued two notifications under Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and Foreigners Act, 1946.

  • There are reports that a number of Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals belonging to minority communities in those countries, such as Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Parsis and Buddhists, took shelter in India due to religious persecution or fear of religious persecution.

  • They have entered India either without any valid document, including passport and other travel document, or with valid documents but the validity of such document has expired.

  • The issue of regularisation of entry and stay of such Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals in India has been under consideration of the central government.

  • There has been no exact numbers of such minority refugees from these countries but officials put the figure of around two lakh Hindu and Sikh refugees from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan living in India.

  • The decision was taken to address the difficulty being faced by Hindus and Sikhs of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who had come with the intention of settling permanently in India.

  • There are 400 Pakistani Hindu refugee settlements in cities like Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Jaipur. 

  • Hindu refugees from Bangladesh mostly live in West Bengal and north-eastern States.


In November last year, India had approved a number of steps to ease grant of citizenship to such refugees which included manual acceptance of applications for citizenship, consideration of an affidavit filed before the authority in return for citizenship renunciation certificate and permission to the children of such refugees, who entered India, on the basis of their parents’ passport, to apply for Indian citizenship without a passport. In April this year, the India rolled out an online system for LTV applications and for their processing by various security agencies.


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