New Delhi, Feb 4 : As many as 50 Pakistani Hindu families, comprising 200 people, crossed over to India through the Attari-Wagah border in Punjab as they were facing prosecution, and were desperately fearful there on account of their religion, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa said on Tuesday.
"I personally knew four of those families for whom I have been working for the past three-four months to bring them out from there (Pakistan)," Sirsa said in a video tagged along with his tweet.
He said when he came to know of the families' plight, he realised their circumstances.
"They were living in hell," he said.
The refugees are all from well off families. While some are from Baluchistan, others come from Sindh and also from Thar.
"They all are saying one thing they will die but will not go back to hell in Pakistan," Sirsa, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee President, said.
He said he was at the border to receive four families which have fled Pakistan.
Sirsa also said he would meet Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday to seek Indian citizenship for them.
Officials here told IANS that all the Pakistani Hindus arrived in India on 25-day tourist visas and were allowed by the Indian authorities to visit Haridwar in Uttarakhand.
"It is hell for us in Pakistan," said Ram Chand, who has come from Pakistan.
"I want to stay here.
I will work and earn here. This is my country and I will educate my children," he added in Hindi.
According to Ram Chand, many people in Pakistan are thinking of coming to India, while such migrants are coming daily.
Another Hindu person from Pakistan told the media that he has been trying for long to come and live in India.
"We are happy here.
My parents have been staying in India for the last four-five years. I was in Saudi Arabia earlier, and I have been trying to apply for a visa for two and a half years," he said.
"Finally, I am here now.
I am very happy to back in my country, Hindus didn't get any facility in Pakistan. They only torture Hindus in Pakistan," he added.
A Pakistani woman said: "Our girls feel insecure as they fear that they could be kidnapped any time by hardliners while police watch as mute spectators.
Our girls cannot walk freely in the northwest area of Pakistan."
Officials have told IANS that the arrival of Hindus from Pakistan via the Attari-Wagah border has increased abnormally since the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was passed by Parliament on December 11, 2019.
The Act envisages giving Indian nationality to members of the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, due to religious persecution in these countries.
Sirsa won a Delhi assembly byelection on a BJP ticket.