Escape From Taliban
CHUGGING INTO INDIA: Border activists feel the Government can no longer afford to look the other way.
Jaipur: Each time the Thar Express from Pakistan chugs into the Jodhpur railway station many like Ranaram get off - relieved and hoping to never go back. Ranaram managed to rescue his two daughters from being kidnapped, sexually assaulted and forced conversion at the hands of militant outfits, some as sinister as the Taliban.
"We don't want to go back there. We want to stay here," says he.
And Ranaram is not alone. In spite of Pakistan's publicised offensive, the Taliban's atrocities span the Swat valley as well as Punjab and Sindh, which are home to a large population of religius minorities. At least 1,000 such men and women have crossed over in the past year. Many of them are living in Jodhpur and the villages surrounding it. Their fear is palpable.
Pakistani immigrant, Prem Singh says, "We couldn't have lived in those circumstances any longer. Our lives and our children were under threat so we have come here with our children."
They might have escaped the Taliban, but without citizenship certificates and a clear policy, these refugees are forced to live in poor conditions and become victims of police harassment in India.
President Seemant Lok Sangathan, Jodhpur, Hindu Singh Sodha says, "They have to get registered with valid documents and have to apply for the extension of their visas."
The border activists feel the Government can no longer afford to look the other way, but until the Government takes up the issue, the problem will only intensify.