NEW DELHI: The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) is demanding extension of the cut-off date prescribed in the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to grant residency to persecuted religious minorities who had migrated from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
Seeking extension of the cut-off date from December 2014 to 2021, DSGMC president committee Manjinder Singh Sirsa on Tuesday wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah requesting amendments in the Act so that Sikhs and Hindus coming from Afghanistan could be allowed to stay in India.
“Your good self is humbly requested to make necessary amendments and provisions in the Citizen Amendment Act so that Afghan Sikhs and Hindus who have taken refuge in India in the year 2020 and 2021 may also get benefited. Considering the sentiments of Sikhs and Hindus, we hope that you will consider this issue on priority basis to make the necessary amendments and provisions in the law in the interest of Afghan Sikh and Hindu migrants,” Sirsa said in the letter.
Under the CAA, migrants – suffering religious persecution or fearing of religious persecution in their country and had arrived India by December 31, 2014 – were made eligible for citizenship. Sirsa further lauded the efforts of the Centre for facilitating safe arrival of Afghan nationals.
“We are thankful to the Government of India for making sincere efforts for evacuating members of Sikh and Hindu community from Afghanistan after the collapse of Afghan Government. Their religions and lives were under constant threat in the regime of Taliban. As there is no scope for them to return back to their country, they and their children have to face many challenges to resettle in India until Indian citizenship is granted to them,” he said.