Chandigarh: Carrying a
birth certificate in her hand and a hassled look on her face,
30-year-old Iranian woman Fatimah Begum is on her third visit to
the country to claim Indian nationality, which she believes is her
Begum, who was born at Post Graduate Institute of Medical
Education and Research (PGIMER) here in 1980, has come all the way
from Iran on a tourist visa.
"I was born here on July 30, 1980, and also have a birth
certificate issued by the PGIMER. I have an Iranian passport, but
my birth place is written India over it. Indian nationality is my
birth right as per the Citizenship of India Act 1955, and I
desperately want to have it," Fatimah told IANS.
Fatimah's parents had come to Chandigarh on a study visa in 1976
and they returned in 1983. She said that she wants to settle in
Chandigarh and study journalism.
"This is my third visit to India. Initially, I approached the
ministry of home affairs in Delhi and they told me to first
procure documents regarding my birth from Chandigarh
administration. I had tried to meet Chandigarh deputy commissioner
several times, but he has no time to meet me," said Fatimah.
Fatimah, who is a freelance writer with various magazines in Iran,
is being helped by NGO International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO).
"We have submitted our file at the deputy commissioner's office.
But Chandigarh administration is not taking this case seriously,"
said Jaspreet Singh Sidhu, president of IHRO's Chandigarh unit.
However, officials of the Chandigarh administration refuted these
"These allegations are baseless and wrong as she never applied for
issuance of the certificate in question," said Chandigarh Deputy
Commissioner Brijendra Singh.
"My office has only received an application from IHRO in which
they have only asked to help the applicant. They have not
mentioned anything else," he added.