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Hindus from Pakistan ‘visiting’ Punjab worry agencies | India News


AMRITSAR: The arrival of over 200 Hindu families on foot from Pakistan, “with almost all their belongings”, via the Attari border after the new citizenship law was passed has taken security agencies by surprise.

The families started arriving in groups on visitor visas in mid-December, sources at the border told TOI. Visitor visas are generally issued to foreigners who wish to enter India to meet relatives or people known to them.

The families have remained “absolutely tight-lipped”, sources said. “Their silence is suspicious but it is too early to suspect that they will jump their visas and apply for Indian citizenship,” said another source.

Most Hindu ‘visitors’ arriving on foot

Sources added there was apprehension that these families were being sent into India in a systematic manner. The agencies suspect these people started applying for visas as soon as talk of CAA began. “For now, we can’t say anything about whether they are genuine tourists or have some other plans. This will be known only once their visas expire and they stay back or apply for Indian citizenship,” they added.

What seems bizarre is that most of these “visitors” were arriving on foot and carrying huge bundles of luggage wrapped in sheets and tied with strings, appearing to carry everything they owned. “Their belongings were not kept in travel bags or suitcases but they had wrapped them in sheets tied with ropes or strings, which is not normal for tourists,” explained the sources.

After Parliament passed the new citizenship law, Hindus and Sikhs living in Afghanistan and Pakistan are hopeful of obtaining Indian citizenship despite the cutoff date to qualify being December 31, 2014.

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