More Hindus 'flee' Pakistan, want to stay back in India

A batch of 45 pilgrims reaches Jodhpur, over 300 already in city

Another batch  of Hindus joined the exodus from Pakistan with the Thar Express bringing 45 more people to Jodhpur on Sunday.

While 21 of them made their way directly to the transit camp, where Hindu pilgrims who arrived in the past few months on a pilgrim visa are already living, 24 others, belonging to the Rebari tribe, left for Nagaur to pay obeisance to their folk deity.

“They have contacted us expressing their wish to settle here permanently,” said Hindu Singh Sodha, a social activist and president of the Seemant Lok Sangthan (SLS),which has been working for the rights of migrants.

In what can be termed as the largest exodus of Hindus to India from Pakistan on account of religious, social and financial persecution,182 Hindus had landed in Jodhpur on September 9.
This is the second largest exodus after September 9.

Sodha said some of the Hindus have come on visa to visit Haridwar but they do not have enough money to go there. They also are compelled to live here until arrangements for their departure for Haridwar are made, he said.

Reiterating their demand with the Centre, Sodha said it is the seriousness of the migration issue which is realised and they should be given the refugee status.

Besides this, the Indian High Commission should also be lenient in issuing visas to those Hindus, who want to come to India on account of the unfavourable living conditions in Pakistan, he added.

So far, 358 Hindus have been accommodated at the transit camp at Gangana Road in Jodhpur, where the SLS along with the help of philanthropists, has been providing them with meals and other facilities.

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