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'Don't want to return': 100 Hindu flood victims from Pakistan reach Jodhpur

The Hindu families alleged discrimination in relief work following flash floods in Pakistan. They have expressed willingness to settle in India and said they don't want to go back.

'Don't want to return': 100 Hindu flood victims from Pakistan reach Jodhpur

Jodhpur: Two batches of Hindus from Pakistan's Sindh province reached here this week, alleging persecution and discrimination in relief work following flash floods in that country. The migrants, who belong to the Bhil community and came from Sindh's Tando Allahyar district, expressed willingness to settle in India and said they don't want to go back. Chaturaram Bhil, who came here with his wife and eight children, said the two batches had around 100 people from his community. Both groups came to India through the Attari-Wagah checkpost. While the first group crossed over to India on October 12, the other came on October 14, Bhil said. He said they first reached Haridwar and from there they travelled to Jodhpur.

Some of them stayed in Jodhpur to settle here while others left for Rajasthan's Jaisalmer, he said. Bhil said the flash floods in their area made their lives miserable as they faced increased discrimination in relief work. "We neither have any job to sustain our family nor enough money to buy food. Houses of several of us were washed away in floods. We hardly have any place to live," he said.

Vishnu, another member of the group that reached here on Friday night, said, "The discrimination that we faced till now turned out to be unbearable in flood times. The bias made life very difficult there. We had no alternative other than leaving Pakistan." He said none of them has the intention of going back and they will settle here and find some work.

Seemant Lok Sangthan chief Hindu Singh Sodha said the migrants had no other option in the wake of persecution and discrimination faced by them in their country.
They consider India as their natural home, he said. "They come on a pilgrim visa to Haridwar, where their arrival was reported by the agencies and then they headed to their final destination. They don't have visa to settle here," Singh said, adding that some of the families have left for Jaisalmer.

Meanwhile, the police authorities sent teams to check documents of the migrants. "We will do whatever is lawful. If they do not want to go back, they will be asked to carry out the formalities to stay here," said ASP (CID) Rameshwar Lal Meghwal.

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