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Over 100 Hindu pilgrims cross into India from Pakistan

August 11, 2012 20:28 IST

Over 100 Pakistani Hindus on Saturday crossed into India via the Wagah land border, taking the number of Hindus travelling from the neighbouring country on a month-long pilgrimage to more than 200, officials said.

After receiving clearance from the interior ministry, immigration authorities began allowing the group of Hindus to cross the border on Friday.

Nearly 115 Hindus walked across the frontier on Friday before the Wagah border was closed for the day.

"Some 115 Hindus left for India on Friday and another 100 left for India from Wagah today," said a senior official.

He said the Hindus had dismissed media reports that they were migrating to India.

Despite possessing valid travel documents, the Hindus were detained by immigration authorities for nearly seven hours on Friday following reports in the electronic media that they intended to migrate to India.

The Hindus belong to Balochistan and Sindh provinces, where the minority community has recently been the target of extortions, kidnapping for ransom and forced conversions.

The Federal Investigation Agency obtained "verbal undertakings" from the Hindu families that they would return to Pakistan before giving them permission to travel, sources said.

After reports emerged that 250 Hindus from Sindh and Balochistan intended to migrate on the pretext of traveling to India for a pilgrimage, Interior Minister Rehman Malik claimed the development was a conspiracy to defame Pakistan.

M Zulqernain
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