3,600 Indian women married to Nepalese get citizenship

More than 3,600 Indian women married to Nepalese men since the promulgation of the new Constitution have acquired naturalized citizenship of Nepal, dismissing allegations that the statute was "discriminatory".

Indian women
via www.np.undp.org

Kathmandu, April 26: As many as 3,672 Indian women married to Nepalese men since the promulgation of the new constitution in September last year have become naturalized citizens of the Himalayan nation, the home ministry said on Tuesday.

The issue of citizenship to Indians married to Nepalese nationals was a big issue during the Terai/Madhes agitation.

India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Sawraj had on September 7 said in parliament that Indian girls married in Nepal were granted naturalized citizenship through matrimony.

“But the new constitution has erased the provision of naturalized citizenship through matrimony,” she had said.

Binod K.C., joint secretary in Nepal’s ministry of home affairs, said Indian girls married to Nepali citizens from 20 districts of the Terai/Madhes region were among the top recipients of naturalised citizenship.

The new constitution does not discriminate against any foreign woman married to a Nepali, he said.

Article 11(6) of the new constitution has a provision that says: “A foreigner woman married to a Nepali man can acquire naturalized citizenship in accordance with the federal law, if she so desires.”

At present, 12 members of Nepal’s parliament have acquired naturalized citizenship.

Meanwhile, the Nepal government has also cancelled the citizenship of three Indian-origin people.A cabinet meeting on Tuesday decided to cancel their citizenship after it was found that they had provided false affidavits to acquire Nepali citizenship.

Mahendra Kumar Mishra, Anil Kumar Mishra and Satish Kumar Mishra had acquired citizenship from Rupandehi district, which lies along the Nepal-India border.

“After the government found that they had submitted false documents to acquire citizenship, the cabinet decided to cancel it,” said Nepal government spokesperson Sherdhan Rai.