The Union ministry of home affairs on Wednesday said that there are 10 applications of Chinese nationals which are pending for grant of citizenship during the ongoing Budget Session. The ministry’s response was in a question raised by lawmaker Tiruchi Siva who sought details of asylum and citizenship requests from communities from China including Tibet and Uyghurs, Mongolians and other democratic dissidents since 2019.
The ministry also said that it maintains nationality-wise data not community-wise data. Union minister of state Nityanand Rai said that 16 Chinese nationals have been granted Indian citizenship since 2007.
India has not offered asylum to the Uyghur community which faces repression at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. The human rights abuses levelled against Xi Jinping’s party against Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang have drawn international condemnation even leading to global brands withdrawing their operations in the wake of the allegations. Turkey is among the Muslim countries which has granted asylum to more than 30,000 Uyghurs.
India granted visa to Uyghur activist Dolun Isa in 2016 but later withdrew his visa application. Isa is the head of the World Uyghur Congress which fights for Uyghur freedom in an international forum. China attacks any nation which raises its concerns for the alleged mistreatment of its Uyghur community. It has opened reeducation camps in Xinjiang which are said to be detention camps where Uyghurs are tortured and women Uyghurs face sexual slavery. More than a million Uyghur and other Turkic-speaking Muslims in are suspected to be imprisoned in such political re-education camps across Xinjiang.
Norway was the latest to draw China’s ire over the issue of Uyghur Muslims. It dumped Chinese sports brand Li-Ning following a recommendation from its ethics council ‘due to unacceptable risk that the company contributes to serious human rights violations’.
Countries like the US, France and Canada have alleged that China is committing genocide of Uyghurs. The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in late 2020 also alleged that Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang were systematically being used for forced labour in agriculture, according to an AFP report.
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