Nearly 100000 Sri Lankan refugees in India, may acquire citizenship

A total of 93,032 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees are living in the states of Tamil Nadu and Odisha and they may acquire Indian citizenship by registration or naturalisation after fulfilling the eligibility criteria laid down in the Citizenship Act, 1955, the Ministry of Home Affairs told Parliament on Tuesday.

The Home Ministry cited the data provided by the Tamil Nadu government’s Commissionerate of Rehabilitation and Welfare of non-resident Tamils.

In a written reply, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai informed the Lok Sabha that 58,843 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees are staying in 108 camps in Tamil Nadu while 34,135 are staying as non-camp refugees but they have registered with the local police.

Besides this, as per available information, 54 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees are staying in refugee camp at Malkangiri, Odisha.

The minister said that citizenship of India is governed by the provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and rules made thereunder.

“Any foreigner including a Sri Lankan citizen may acquire Indian citizenship by registration or naturalisation after fulfilling the eligibility criteria laid down in the Citizenship Act, 1955 and the rules made thereunder.”

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