NEW DELHI, Aug 4 - In the face of demands by the BJP MPs, the Centre today clarified that the issue of granting citizenship to Bengali Hindus who fled Bangladesh, was under consideration of the Government of India.
All the issues being raised are very much under the consideration of the Ministry of Home Affairs. �Since we have not yet declared any policy, it is difficult for me to make a statement in the House. Otherwise, this issue is very much under consideration. We are very much concerned about the issues,� Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said during a Question Hour discussion in the Lok Sabha.
The Minister was replying to a question by Bijoya Chakravarty, who wanted to know whether the Centre was considering granting citizenship to the people who came to India after the Partition.
In Assam there are more than four lakh people who are called �D� Voters, that is, Doubtful Voters. They are still not getting citizenship, Chakravarty said amidst interruptions.
�I would like to know whether the government is thinking of granting citizenship to these people. These Hindu Bengalis are coming because they have been facing lots of trouble. They may not come with documents because they have fled Bangladesh,� she said.
Earlier, raising the issue, SS Ahluwalia sought to know whether the Government of India was considering granting them citizenship because some of those who came from West Pakistan were given citizenship.
Rijiju clarified that acquisition of Indian citizenship, under the Citizenship Act, 1955, is by way of five processes � by birth, by descent, by naturalisation, by registration and by acquiring territory. Anybody falling within the ambit of these five categories is automatically given Indian citizenship.
�But there is a procedure. I want to clarify that those people who do not possess any kind of document are branded as illegal migrants. Now, there is no provision for providing citizenship to illegal migrants. Still, we are taking certain steps,� the Minister of State said.