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Relief and hope among Pak Hindu refugees in Delhi as CAA rules notified

New Delhi, Mar 11 (PTI) Pakistani Hindu refugees residing in Delhi expressed a sense of hope and relief on the implementation of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act on Monday, saying they are elated they will be finally called Indian citizens.

New Delhi, Mar 11 (PTI) Pakistani Hindu refugees residing in Delhi expressed a sense of hope and relief on the implementation of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act on Monday, saying they are elated they 'will be finally called Indian citizens'.

Ahead of the Lok Sabha election, the Centre announced the implementation of the CAA 2019 for granting citizenship to undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31, 2014.

Dharamveer Solanki, who is considered the chief of the Pakistani Hindu refugee families in Delhi, told PTI that around 500 from the community will receive citizenship now.

'I and my family have been waiting for this for over a decade now. We are extremely happy that we will be finally called Indian citizens. I am glad I decided to return to my homeland in 2013,' Solanki said.

'It feels like a huge burden has been lifted from our shoulders. With the implementation of this act, around 500 Pakistani Hindu refugee families who live here, will get citizenship,' Solanki told PTI.

With the CAA rules being notified, the Modi government will now start granting Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from the said countries. These include Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians.

Sona Das, another Pakistani Hindu refugee, said he has been waiting for being granted Indian citizenship since 2011 and the implementation of CAA will give them 'a new life' in India.

'This news seems like us getting a whole new life in India. I moved here from Pakistan in 2011 and been waiting for citizenship since then. Extremely happy that I'll finally be called an Indian citizen now,' Das told PTI.

The CAA was passed in December 2019 and subsequently got the president's assent but there were protests in several parts of the country against it.

The law could not come into effect as rules had not been notified till now.

Kanhaiya, who moved to India from Pakistan in 2012, expressed his gratitude to the Centre. 'Getting citizenship is like a dream come true,' he said.

'I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Centre for allowing us to get citizenship again. I moved to India in 2012 with my family and have been waiting for papers since then. It is like a dream come true,' Kanhaiya told PTI.

Krishan Mal is a Pakistani Hindu refugee who has been waiting to get Indian citizenship for 14 years.

'We have been yearning for this day since 14 years. The fact that we will be called Indian citizens is like a dream come true. I'm grateful to the Indian government that they understood our pains and problems. And I hope we too get to do something for our nation,' Mal told PTI. PTI ABU TIR TIR

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