Tuesday 28 May 2024

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Society | Diaspora

Pak Goan's desire to be Indian national becomes human rights issue


Human Rights Commission Chairman Justice Misra

The union home ministry has been issued a notice by the Goa Human Rights Commission for not providing a Pakistani national, of Goan origin, Indian citizenship.

Albert L Pereira, a Pakistani national of Goan origin, has finally argued his case on the basis of human rights as all his efforts for the last 30 years have been proved futile.

He has been made to run from pillar to post to seek Indian citizenship.

Reacting to his complaint, the GHRC has issued a notice to the union home secretary, as well as Chief Secretary and Home Secretary of Goa government, besides Superintendent of Police, Foreigners’ Branch and Goa’s Director-General of Police.

The matter would be now heard on 15 April.

In his complaint made on 22 February, Pereira alleged that he was being harassed by officials while renewing his and his children’s residence permit every year.

He also alleged of police harassment as he was called late in the evening to the police station along with his guarantor.

As he was not eligible for an identity card (ID), he had no access to cyber cafe, driving licence, bank account, ration card and even medical card.

Moreover, he was not allowed to work and had to depend on his guarantor who, being aged, could not finance him for long.

Pereira has also expressed his ire as he could not get custody of his father-in-law’s property in Goa after his death because of his Pakistani status.

For over 30 years he had been working in the Gulf while his late wife and children were in Goa.

Pereira says he has written to three Prime Ministers, two Presidents and two Home Ministers - P. Chidambaram and Sushilkumar Shinde – a futile exercise indeed.

He also wrote to then Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro in 1998, with a copy to then Union Home Minister L K Advani.

He also wrote to chief minister Manohar Parrikar.

Pereira in fact wants to start a business until he gets citizenship.

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