Give Indian citizenship to Tamil refugees: Demand in RS

Give Indian citizenship to Tamil refugees: Demand in RS

Ahamed Hassan (FB Photo)

A demand to give Indian citizenship to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees residing in Tamil Nadu for almost three decades was made in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

Ahamed Hassan of the TMC made the demand through a Zero Hour mention during the brief period that the House functioned in the pre-noon session that was marred by disruptions by opposition Congress over developments in Karnataka.

Hassan said the government has through a bill proposed to give Indian citizenship to Hindus and other persecuted minorities of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. The same should be extended to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees.

"They should be given Indian citizenship or they should be rehabilitated in Sri Lanka," he said.

Abir Ranjan Biswas (TMC) raised the issue of delay by the Centre in granting formal allotment letter to West Bengal for the Deocha Pachami Harinsingha Dewanganj coal mines - the world's second largest.

He said the coal mine was allocated to the state on June 6, 2018, but despite repeated requests, a formal allotment order has not been issued.

The mine will feed coal to the state's power plants, helping boost electricity generation, he said, adding West Bengal Power Development Corporation Ltd presently gets 42,000 tonnes a day of coal supplies as against the requirement of 55,000 tonnes.

The Union Coal Ministry had on September 10, 2018, asked the West Bengal government to take certain preparatory actions, which the state complied with and filed a compliance report on September 29, 2018, he said.

But there has been a delay in making the formal allotment, he said.

K R Arjunan (AIADMK) demanded the construction of a medical college and hospital on the unused land of Hindustan Photo Films at Udhagamandalam in Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu.

Udhagamandalam factory has been shut and its land is lying unused, he said.