Five Hindu Pakistani nationals who had sought Indian citizenship were granted their wish at a formal ceremony at the home ministry office in Mantralaya Friday.
Three of the applicants were from Amravati- Ranibai Vaswani (26), Shantibai Keswani (73) and Anita Keswani (46). The others were Ritabai Sindhi (32) from Jalgaon and Prayana Mulchandani from Kolhapur.
Additional chief secretary (home) Sanjay Kumar and principal secretary Amitabh Gupta were present along with Jalgaon former MLC Gurumukh Jagwani who pursued the matter and liaised with the central government. Some of those who received their certificates Friday had waited as long as 20 years, said Jagwani, who had facilitated the citizenship of 13 Pakistanis in 2018.
Section officer Deepak Kharat said the applications were expedited in the wake of the Centre's 2016 notification to award citizenship to Hindu minorities from Pakistan. "Five district collectors-Mumbai city and suburban, Thane, Pune and Nagp- ur-have been given the power to grant citizenship to Pakistani Hindus, while those from other cities apply to the government," he said.