Pakistani Hindus who applied for citizenship under CAA wait for their turn to be interviewed by an empowered committee comprising postal department and railway officials, at a post office in New Delhi on May 18, 2024. | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma


On a hot Saturday morning, plastic chairs have been lined up in the corner of a big hall at the Indraprastha post office in central Delhi. Around a dozen Pakistani Hindus, all related to each other, soon occupy the chairs and await their turn for an interview with government officials in the office of the Senior Postmaster. An official emerges from the room, matches the names on a bunch of files in his possession and calls them inside one by one.

They have applied for citizenship under the newly implemented Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019.

Kanwar Lal came to India on a pilgrimage visa with his wife and children in June 2014. After the CAA Rules were notified on March 11, paving the way for the implementation of the legislation passed by the Parliament in December 2019, Mr. Lal applied online for citizenship by naturalisation on April 27. Last week, he got an SMS to reach the Indraprastha Post Office on Saturday at 11 am.

“I had the file with all the documents. This includes an eligibility certificate issued by the priest of Shiv Mandir near our refugee colony. The officials interviewed me for around 40 minutes, asked me detailed questions but eventually turned down my application. They have asked me to apply again as an affidavit to be attested by a notary was missing,” said Mr. Lal.

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