Saturday, September 15, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Relief for Hindu, Sikh Afghans
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 14
In a big relief to hundreds of Hindu and Sikh refugees from Afghanistan, the Atal Behari Vajpayee Government has decided to allow Afghan nationals to renew their registration or apply for new registration till December 31, 2001, with the respective Foreigners Regional Registration Offices (FRROs) or the Foreigners Registration Offices (FROs) for residential permit.

Most importantly, the order issued by the Deputy Secretary in the Foreigners V Section of the Ministry of Home Affairs on September 12, 2001, has directed the state governments and the Union Territories Administrations to waive the fine or penalty chargeable for overstay or for renewal of the residential permit.

The order said Afghan refugees willing to register themselves should be in possession of a passport/travel document, whether valid or expired.

However, it said Afghan nationals who are not having any travel documents may also be registered by the FRROs/FROs concerned. But the issue of registration/identity certificate for such Afghan nationals would be decided by a committee headed by the Joint Secretary (Foreigners), Ministry of Home Affairs.

The direction of the Home Ministry has come following repeated representation from the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) to the Home Ministry. The NCM Vice-Chairman, Mr Tarlochan Singh, had taken up this issue with Union Home Minister L.K. Advani several times in the past.

The Home Ministry’s order would help several poor Hindu and Sikh people, who had to leave their homes in Afghanistan, which they occupied for centuries on account or religious bigotry of the new Taliban regime.

The order has also allowed the extension of stay by one year of Afghan nationals who have stay permit up to June 30, 2001. “Those who did not obtain extension/registration on earlier occasions may also be granted registration/extension up to June 30, 2002,” the order says.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |