Between 2014 and 2019, 40% of non-Indian women rescued in Goa were from Bangladesh. The question is, what will be the status of these status of these commercial sex workers in the wake of the amended citizenship law?

There are concerns that have been raised about the rescued sex workers from the neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh. The question is, will these persons be given citizenship under the newly amended law?

A ToI report speaks about a 26-year-old girl, who is Muslim by birth and Hindu by practice. She was produced before the committee that has been formed under the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act.  The lady told the panel that she was born in Bangladesh and following the death of her mother, her father brought her to Mumbai and sold her off to a brothel.

After being exploited for nearly 10 years, she was trafficked to Goa, where she was rescued by police. She said that she had been given a Hindu name. She was then repatriated to Bangladesh, following which she was handed over to a distant relative.

The relative forcibly married her and then she was taken again to Mumbai and sold off to a brothel. While being trafficked to Goa, she was once again rescued by Goa Police.

As per law, she will need to be repatriated, but there are concerns about her safety. Will such persons be given citizenship under the new law?

The lady in question has requested that she be allowed to stay in India and also be rehabilitated. The new law however does not provide for citizenship of such persons. The law states that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan are entitled to citizenship.

In the case of the lady mentioned above, she is a Muslim by birth, but is a practising Hindu. Moreover, she does not have documents such as an Aadhaar card, voting card or a passport. While the government will not insist that she be sent back to Bangladesh, she may be declared as an offender and will be rehabilitated. She could on the other hand apply for Indian citizenship and get it through the prescribed naturalisation process. No law prevents anyone from any religion in India from applying for Indian Citizenship.