Pak Hindu migrants' vaccination begins in Barmer and Jaisalmer, Jodhpur awaits govt's nod

·3-min read

Jodhpur, Jun10 (PTI) Amid a lingering uncertainty over the Covid vaccination of the Pakistani Hindu migrants in Rajasthan, the Barmer and Jaisalmer district administrations have begun inoculating them, while Jodhpur administration is awaiting the state’s decision over the issue.

On the inoculation of Hindu migrants in his district, Jaisalmer District Magistrate Ashish Modi said they have surveyed such migrants who do not have any Indian documents but have Pakistani passports.

“We have identified 2,281 such migrants in Jaisalmer and have started their vaccination on the basis of their passports. So far, 17 of them have been vaccinated and the drive would begin from Friday in full swing,” he said.

Similarly, Barmer District Magistrate Lok Bandhu said the inoculation of the migrants with no local identity document has already begun.

A total of 21 of them were vaccinated on the first day of the drive on Tuesday, he added.

“We have already started a survey of these migrants with no citizenship with the help of their representatives. But parallel to this, we have also started their vaccination,” the officer said.

But there is no decision on the vaccination of migrants without identity documents in Jodhpur and the administration is still awaiting the state government's directions over the issue.

Jodhpur's Chief and Medical and Health Officer Balwant Manda said they have not received any directions on vaccinations of Pak Hindu migrants from the state government and have not yet taken any decision on the issue.

Jodhpur has the largest number of Pakistani Hindu migrants awaiting citizenship and no decision about their vaccination by the administration has further added to their insecurities.

Seemant Lok Sangthan president Hindu Singh Sodha termed the Jodhpur administration's indecision “shocking” and said when the Barmer and Jaisalmer administration have already proceeded with the vaccination, why is the Jodhpur administration reluctant to inoculate them.

“We are unable to understand the reluctance of the Jodhpur administration. Jodhpur has over 20,000 such migrants with no local identity proof, which is largest in the state,” he said.

'When all other districts with the presence of the Pakistani Hindu migrants, including Jaipur, have started their vaccination, I fail to understand why the Jodhpur residents among the migrants are being denied these life-saving shots,” Sodha said.

The two district administrations began the inoculation of Hindu migrants on Tuesday amid a purported uncertainty over the state and the Centre’s policies over the inoculation of the people without identity documents.

The Rajasthan High Court had earlier this month taken exceptions to the state government's submission that it had written to the Centre seeking its clarification over the special operating procedures for states on how to identify people for inoculation in absence of prescribed identification documents.

During the adjudication of a plea related to Pakistani Hindu migrants' inoculation, the state government had also told the high court’s Jodhpur bench that it has also requested the Centre to declare Pakistani migrants eligible for vaccination.

The high court subsequently had taken strong objections to the state’s submission saying that the bench had in May itself clarified that the Centre’s SOP clearly makes migrant Pakistani Hindus eligible for the vaccination against Covid.

The high court had also ordered the Rajasthan chief secretary to file a detailed affidavit on the state government’s step to inoculate the people without valid identification documents, including the Pakistan migrants.

A Jodhpur bench of the high court is slated to hear the matter again on Monday. PTI CORR RAX RAX

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