Rajasthan High Court on Thursday sought an explanation from the Rajasthan government as to why it is not considering the Pakistani minority migrants, who are not having prescribed identity cards, eligible for Covid-19 vaccination.
The High Court found that despite its May 28 order, the Pakistani refugees are not vaccinated.
“It is noticed that once this Court in its order dated 28.05.2021 has already opined that SOP dated 06.05.2021 is not excluding the Pakistani Minority Migrants, who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, then it is difficult to understand that why the State Government is seeking further clarification from the Central Government and requesting it to include the Pakistani Minority Migrants in the SOP dated 06.05.2021,” noted the division bench of Justice Vijay Bishnoi and Justice Rameshwar Rao.
Even after the High Court’s order dated May 28, a letter had been written by the National Health Mission, Medical, Health and Family Welfare Department, Government of Rajasthan to the Health and Family Welfare Ministry, Government of India requesting them to include the Pakistani Minority Migrants in the SOP which deals with COVID-19 Vaccination of Persons without prescribed Identity Cards through CoWIN.Amicus Curiae Sajjan Singh appearing for Pakistani Minority migrants informed the court that Pakistani minority migrants, who are declared as citizens of this country, are not being vaccinated because they do not have Aadhar Cards.
“It is further submitted that so far as the ration/food packets are concerned, the same is being made available to the Pakistani minority migrants residing in Jodhpur city but in other districts such as Jaisalmer, Barmer and Jaipur no such ration/food packets are being made available to the Pakistani minority migrants,” Sajjan Singh added.
Rajasthan High Court Directed Chief Secretary, Government of Rajasthan, Jaipur
- To submit a detailed affidavit regarding the steps taken by the State Government in every District as per the procedure given in Clause-5 of the SOP dated 06.05.2021.
- To explain that why the State Government is not treating the Pakistani Minority Migrants, who are not having prescribed identity cards, eligible for COVID-19 vaccination though this Court vide order dated 28.05.2021 has already clarified that such Pakistani Minority Migrants are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination as per the SOP dated 06.05.2021.
- To submit the status regarding the availability of ration/food packets to the needy Pakistani Minority Migrants in the State of Rajasthan.
The matter has now been listed for hearing on June 10, 2021.
Covid-19 Increasing Plight of Hindu Migrants from Pakistan
Over 25,000 Pakistani Hindu Migrants residing in Rajasthan are waiting for being vaccinated. They are struggling for beds, vaccines, insurance cover and free ration because of the non-citizen status.
As per State home department, 22,146 Pakistani migrants are currently living in Rajasthan on long-term visas (LTVs). However, Seemant Lok Sangathan, an organisation fighting for their basic rights, claims the number to be over 25,000.
Baser Mal from Sindh in Pakistan, who was a Pakistani refugee, succumbed to Covid-19 infection on May 2. He was taken to two private hospitals in Jodhpur but was denied bed due to his foreign status.