Five Hindu migrants from Pakistan, who received Indian citizenship recently, succumbed to COVID-19 in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur. They died during the second phase of the pandemic that has taken about 1,400 lives in the state out of the total COVID death toll of 4,866.
There are 40,000 migrant Hindus living in various slums and other places in Jodhpur and most of them are here on long-term visas. The five Hindus, who were originally Pakistani citizens, but eventually died as Indian citizens due to the viral infection are Issaro Bhil, Heman Suthar, Shankar Mali, and Bheru Mali.
Among the 40,000 Pakistani migrants about half of them were granted Indian citizenship and the rest are living on long term visa granted by the Indian government. A large number of them are awaiting Indian citizenship certificates.
These migrant Hindus left Pakistan facing persecution and poverty. A large number of them who came in 2019 got their visas extended and they could not return back because of the pandemic and are stranded in Jodhpur.
These migrants live in slums and work as labours and are identified as Sindhis. The slums where they live have poor sanitation. The district administration has identified 21 areas where these 40,000 migrants are living.
Rajasthan govt announced houses for migrants
The Rajasthan government has recently announced that it would build a colony for the dwelling of these migrants, but the dwelling units would be allotted to only families that have been granted Indian citizenship. The process of citizenship is very slow and without citizenship, these migrants find it difficult to get proper employment and health care.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who hails from Jodhpur and his wife Sunita are in isolation in Jaipur after testing COVID positive. Three members of the CM’s elder brother Agrasen Gehlot, who lives in Jodhpur, have also tested positive and are being treated in Mathuradas Mathur Hospital.
On Tuesday, 16,974 fresh COVID-19 cases have been reported in the state. But on average, about 14,000 patients are getting discharged after being treated. Over 150 people succumbed to the viral infection on Tuesday across the state.
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