Hindu-Sikh refugees celebrate CAA implementation; say feel relieved and free now : The Tribune India

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Hindu-Sikh refugees celebrate CAA implementation; say feel relieved and free now

Hundreds of Hindu refugees from Pakistan live in a temporary settlement at Majnu Ka Tila in north Delhi. “Our wait is over,” said one of them.

Hindu-Sikh refugees celebrate CAA implementation; say feel relieved and free now

Delhi BJP chief Virendra Sachdeva with Hindu and Sikh migrants celebrate after the Centre notified rules for implementation of CAA in New Delhi on Tuesday. Tribune Photo: Mukesh Aggarwal



PTI

New Delhi, March 12

Payara Singh, who took refuge in India escaping from war torn Afghanistan over three decades back, celebrated implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) saying he felt reborn hoping now to have his identity as bonafide citizen of the country.

Now, 57, Singh joined dozens of fellow Sikh refugees from Afghanistan and Hindu refugees from Pakistan bursting crackers, playing Holi, dancing on drumbeats and raising slogans of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” at a programme hosted by Delhi BJP on Tuesday.

“It feels like I am celebrating my birthday as a new chapter has started in my life as I am on the verge of having an identity as citizen of India that has been my home for more than three decades,” Singh said.

Recounting his tale, Singh said he left Paktia in Afghanistan in 1989 to save his life and reached India but there was no place for him to stay or money to start a new life.

“Identity is the most basic and important thing for any human being, but we didn’t have it. We could not buy a house and the people were reluctant to give us their house on rent,” said Singh, who now lives in Tilak Nagar. He runs a small shop of mobile phone accessories in Karol Bagh.

“Now, I feel free and can do everything after getting the citizenship of India and even own a passport and voter card and travel anywhere that was impossible so far,” he said.

Many other refugees living in India for decades expressed similar sentiments of relief and joy while thanking Modi government for the decision to implement the CAA. They handed over a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the function to Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva.

“This Holi is unlike any other,” said Sachdeva joining the refugees and BJP leaders and workers in celebrations.

Pakistani Hindu refugee Sona Das, who came to India in 2013, said he was hugely relieved and hoped for a better life for his children, including five boys and two daughters. “We have seen very difficult times and I can’t express the pain of being a refugee for more than a decade,” he said.

Hundreds of Hindu refugees from Pakistan live in a temporary settlement at Majnu Ka Tila in north Delhi. “Our wait is over,” said Manju Ram, another Pakistani Hindu refugee from Majnu Ka Tila.

“The Modi government did what they promised. Now we can be part of everything, buy property and vote in the elections also,” he said smiling.

Govind Ram said, “We have been Indian at heart for the past four decades and now thanks to Narendra Modi we will be legal citizens of the country.” The Delhi BJP president said, “I understand the pain of these people because my parents witnessed the partition of 1947.”

#Afghanistan #Citizenship Amendment Act CAA #Pakistan #Sikhs


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