Give Indian citizenship to Lankan Tamil refugees, says Trinamool MP

File photo of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in a camp.

New Delhi: A demand to give Indian citizenship to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees residing in Tamilnadu for almost three decades was made in the Rajya Sabha today – but it was not from Tamilnadu MPs but from an MP from faraway West Bengal.

Ahamed Hassan of the Trinamool Congress made the demand through a Zero Hour mention during the brief period that the House functioned in the pre-noon session that was marred by disruptions by Opposition Congress over developments in Karnataka.

Hassan said the government has, through a bill, proposed to give Indian citizenship to Hindus and other persecuted minorities of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. The same should be extended to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees. “They should be given Indian citizenship or they should be rehabilitated in Sri Lanka,” he said.