SHILLONG, April 16 - Two Meghalaya MPs have requested the Centre to extend the visa permits of three leading foreign Christian missionaries, arguing that their �pro-poor� missions were at stake.
MPs Vincent H Pala and Conrad K Sangma have sought the �personal intervention� of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the matter.
While former Congress Minister of State and Shillong MP Vincent H Pala wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Conrad K Sangma wrote to the Home Minister.
Pala in his letter to PM said, �I shall be personally highly grateful to you if these three eminent Christians are allowed to stay in India and continue their social and educational work for the poor.�
NDA ally and National People�s Party president Conrad K Sangma in his letter to Union Home Minister said the missionaries had never in the past faced any problem in getting their visas extended.
�This has led to a lot of confusion and difficulties for these missionaries who have been working tirelessly for the poor and needy of our country,� he said in the letter. The copies of both the letters have been made available to the press.
The three Christian missionaries the MPs referred to are: Fr Ignacio Zuazua from Spain, associated with Gujarat-based Jivan Jyoti Society since 1951, Sr Laurel Judith Seaton from Australia, who served at Missionaries of Charity in Bihar for 42 years, and Belgian Aurele Brys associated with Jharkhand-based Ranchi Jesuit Society for 51 years.
Pala had told Lok Sabha last month that the government had refused to renew licenses of over 1,400 NGOs last year over violations of Foreign Contributions Regulation Act, 2010, majority of which were of Christian missionaries working in the North East. � PTI