‘I don’t want to return’: 100 Hindu flood victims from Pakistan reach Jodhpur

Jodhpur: Two groups of Hindus from Pakistan’s Sindh province arrived here this week, alleging persecution and discrimination in aid workers after flash floods in that country. The migrants, who belong to the Bhil community and come from Tando Allahyar district in Sindh, expressed their willingness to settle in India and said they did not want to return. Chaturaram Bhil, who came here with his wife and eight children, said the two groups had about 100 people from his community. Both groups entered India through the Attari-Wagah checkpoint. While the first group crossed over to India on Oct. 12, the other one came on Oct. 14, Bhil said. He said that they first reached Haridwar and from there traveled to Jodhpur.

Some of them stayed in Jodhpur to settle here, while others left for Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, he said. Bhil said the flash floods in their area made their lives miserable as they faced increasing discrimination in aid workers. “We don’t have a job to support our family and we don’t have enough money to buy food. Some of our houses have been washed away by flooding. We barely have a place to live,” he said.

Vishnu, another member of the group who arrived here Friday night, said: “The discrimination we have faced so far has proved unbearable in times of flooding. The bias made life very difficult there. We had no alternative but Pakistan. to leave.” He said that none of them intend to go back and that they will settle here and find work.

Chief Hindu Singh Sodha, the leader of Seeman Lok Sangthan, said the migrants had no other choice in the wake of the persecution and discrimination they face in their country.
They consider India their natural home, he said. “They come to Haridwar on a pilgrim visa where their arrival was reported by the agencies and then they went to their final destination. They don’t have a visa to settle here,” Singh said, adding that some families have left for Jaisalmer.

Meanwhile, police authorities sent teams to check the migrants’ documents. “We will do what is legal. If they do not want to go back, they will be asked to complete the formalities to stay here,” said ASP (CID) Rameshwar Lal Meghwal.

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