India on Monday decided, on humanitarian grounds, to exempt Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals belonging to minority communities, who entered the country on or before December 31 last year, to stay in the country, even after expiry of their visas, an official statement said.
“The central govennment has decided, on humanitarian considerations, to exempt Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals belonging to minority communities who have entered into India on or before December 31, 2014 from the relevant provisions of rules and order made under the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and the Foreigners Act, 1946, in respect of their entry and stay in India without such documents or after the expiry of those documents, as the case may be,” the home ministry statement said.
It said the the central government has accordingly issued two notifications in the official gazette on Monday under the two acts, adding that there were reports that a number of Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals belonging to minority communities, such as Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Parsis and Buddhists, in those countries were compelled to seek shelter in India due to religious persecution or fear of religious persecution.
“They have entered into India either without any valid document including passport/other travel document or with valid documents but the validity of such document has expired. The issue of regularization of entry and stay of such Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals in India has been under consideration of the central government,” the release said.