BJP, Bajrang Dal protest over demand for rights for Pak Hindus
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Bajrang Dal supporters protested in Jammu on Monday, as they pressed for giving state subject rights to Hindus coming from Pakistan.
BJP lawmaker Avinash Rai Khanna said: "Displaced Pakistan refugees, who have been coming here since 1947 should be provided with 'state subject' citizenship and rehabilitated and should also be given compensation. Bharatiya Janata Party on behalf of the Human Rights cell took the decision that we will not hold demonstrations and will use brush instead of guns. We are trying to spread the message and question by touching the feet of the people that whether they (Pakistan refugees) will only be engaged as labourers or will they be given a state subject and right to vote so that they can also dream about becoming a member of village bodies, heads of the villages, legislators and lawmakers."
Bajrang Dal leader Brij Mohan Sethi said: "If the Indian government does not raise this issue within United Nations Organisation (UNO) then the members of UNO so should raise this issue of providing security to Hindus in Pakistan and the Pakistani Hindus here should be given citizenship."
A group of over 250 pilgrims arrived at the Wagah border between the two countries, where they boarded a bus that would take them to the cities of Amritsar, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Indore and Delhi on a month-long tour.
In August, Pakistan authorities had allowed a group of Hindus pilgrims to cross into India after seven hours of detention, following reports that they were planning to migrate in order to escape from abductions and attacks on their business establishments. The detention came after reports of an attempt at migration surfaced in the local media, even though the pilgrims carried valid month-long visas.
Ten Hindu families had recently decided to migrate to India by contending that there were instances of forced conversions and violence against Hindus, making them feel insecure in Pakistan.
They also recalled that their shops were looted while unknown men raided their homes and women were molested at free will.
India treads cautiously on granting citizenship to migrants from Pakistan due to the fear that some of them could engage in inflaming religious tensions, sabotage or anti-national activities.