The Tribune: Jammu: Friday, March 31, 2017.
In a sharp contrast to the countrywide debate on intolerance, the Union Home Ministry has revealed that as many as 5,477 foreigners, including 2,157 Pakistanis and 918 Afghans, acquired Indian citizenship during the last six years.
Since the BJP-led NDA government came to power in May 2014, the number of foreigners acquiring Indian citizenship is over 3,800. The highest number is from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The foreigners from a total of 56 countries and some stateless people were granted Indian citizenship rights.
This information has been provided by the Union Home Ministry in response to an online RTI application submitted by Jammu-based activist Raman Sharma.
A thorough study of the reply under the Right to Information (RTI) Act reveals that the number of foreigners acquiring Indian citizenship has doubled from 2014-2016 when compared to three years of the previous government.
“Between January 2014 to December 2016, the total number of foreigners acquiring Indian citizenship is 3,801, whereas during the last three years of the previous government (Congress government) between January 2011 to December 2013, the total number of foreigners national getting Indian citizenship was 1,676,” the reply said.
According to the information, Pakistanis topped the list of foreign nationals acquiring Indian citizenship. Out of 5,477 foreigners, 2,157 were Pakistani nationals followed by 1,461 stateless people, 918 Afghanis, 218 Bangladeshis, 145 from the United Kingdom, 108 from Sri Lanka, 66 from Iran and 61 from the United States of America.
There are also 35 persons from the UAE, 33 from Nepal, 26 from Kenya, 15 each from Singapore and China. Thirteen persons each from Canada and France also acquired Indian citizenship.
The year-wise data of a total 2,157 Pakistani nationals who were granted Indian nationality reveals that in 2016, the maximum number of 660 Pakistanis were granted citizenship. As many as 263 and 267 Pakistanis were granted citizenship In 2015 and 2014, respectively. Similarly, out of 918 Afghan nationals, who were granted Indian citizenship at least 700 got Indian nationality between 2014 and 2016.
During the last three years, the number of immigrants from developed nations has also increased, from the US out of total 61 immigrants, 46 applied and granted citizenship rights only between 2014 and 2016. Seven French nationals, eight persons each from Germany and Italy also got citizenship rights.