Refugees of minority communities from Pakistan and Bangladesh, who have entered India on or before December 31, 2014, can stay in the country on humanitarian grounds, even without valid travel documents, Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.
In response to a written question, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said the government vide its notification dated September 7, 2015, has granted exemption to persons belonging to minority communities in Bangladesh and Pakistan namely, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who entered into India on or before December 31, 2014, from the application of the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the orders made there under in respect of their stay in India without valid documents, including passport or other travel document; or with valid documents including passport or other travel document and the validity of any such documents has expired.
“The immigrants from Bangladesh can obtain Indian citizenship under the provisions of Citizenship Act, 1955 and the rules made there under. Persons residing in Indian enclaves on Bangladesh side of the border are already Indian citizens.
“However, 14,864 persons residing in erstwhile Bangladeshi enclaves on Indian side of the border have been granted Indian citizenship with effect from August 1, 2015, the date of transfer of enclaves, as per the provisions of section 7 of Citizenship Act, 1955,” he said.