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Rajasthan HC sets up high-level committee for Pakistani minority migrants

IANS | Jodhpur |

The Rajasthan High Court on Friday set up a three member high-level committee comprising a retired High Court Judge to advise the state government in relation to different issues pertaining to migrants from Pakistan belonging to the minorities.

A division bench headed by Justice Govind Mathur, while hearing the matter suo moto, issued several directions to the state and Central government as it said that the issues involved in the petition are not confined to the Jodhpur district only, but for number of districts in Rajasthan.

Therefore, it directed to have a State Level Committee to advise the state government in relation to different issues of Pakistan resident minorities such as Hindu, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis and Christians.

The committee, comprising retired high court judge, Justice H.R. Panwar, activist for the cause of Pakistani migrants Hindu Singh Sodha and Additional Advocate General Kanti Lal Thakur, will advise and monitor the entire process relating to grant of citizenship, long term visas and short term visas to the Pakistani migrants.

Besides, the officers concerned have been directed to apprise the committee about all the steps already taken and are to be taken by September 26.

The court has also directed to consider and decide the applications submitted either online or offline for citizenship and both types of visas expeditiously after giving an opportunity of removing deficiencies.

It said that in no case the government will refuse to accept the application submitted in accordance with the guidelines issued by the government itself.

“The court has passed detailed directions to ensure the basic amenities such as light, water, medical, primary education etc at the camps of the migrants from Pakistan belonging to minorities,” Sajjan Singh Rathore, one of the amicus curiae appointed by the court said.

Rathore said that the matter has now been posted for further hearing on November 27 and the authorities have to file a compliance and progress report.

The high court has taken suo moto cognizance a few days back upon a news item published in a local newspaper in regard to pathetic situation of minorities in Pakistan.