Monday, March 05, 2007

1.2 million citizenships distributed
The Home Ministry has distributed citizenship to over 1.2 million people in the past one and a half month of campaign, informs the Ministry.
The Ministry had formed 560 different teams that reached into villages to provide citizenship to deserving people.
According to the Ministry, 12,37,000 people have been handed over the citizenship. Of the total, 11,63,700 people obtained the citizenship based on inheritance; 51,285 obtained the citizenship based on birth; and the remaining obtained naturalised citizenship.
The distribution campaign is continuing. Baman Prasad Neupane, joint secretary at the Ministry, said that the government could extend the duration of the campaign beyond mid-March based on demands.
The government had dispatched the special teams to distribute citizenship based on new Citizenship Act primarily in order to benefit the Madhesi population – a large section of whom were said to have been deprived of citizenship in the past.
mainwhile The government on Sunday said that the citizenship certificates acquired through illegal means would be cancelled.
Issuing a press statement, the Home Ministry also said that persons involved in such practices would be punished as per the laws of the land. The release has asked ordinary people and civil society members to report such illegal practices to local administration and help check the illegal practice of providing citizenship certificates to foreign nationals.
The government move comes after reports that mobile citizenship distribution teams were forced to provide citizenship cards on the basis of fake details and under pressure. According to a release, the government has initiated action those against those involved in such illegal practices in Sundrawati of Dolakha district, Basudevpur of Banke district, Bariyapatti village of Siraha district and Manaraja village of Saptari district.

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