Shift Portuguese consulate to Delhi: Goa minister

Panaji, June 10 (IANS) Goa PWD minister Sudin Dhavalikar on Friday reiterated his demand for the shifting of the Portuguese consulate in Panaji to Delhi to “prevent Goans from opting for dual citizenship”.

“I reiterate my demand for shifting of the Portuguese consulate to Delhi,” Dhavalikar told reporters at the secretariat here.

On June 7, Goa’s freedom fighters sought the closure of the consulate that processes the documents of Goan natives desirous of Portugal’s citizenship under a unique nationality law.

“Portugal is still trying to interfere in the internal affairs of Goa and India. We want punishment for Goans who opt for Portuguese citizenship. Dual citizenship is a threat to the state’s security,” freedom fighter and noted poet Naguesh Karmali said.

Goa was one of the oldest colonies of Portugal before its liberation by the Indian Army in 1961. All Goan natives were thereafter granted Indian citizenship via a notification.

However, the departing Portuguese allowed residents of Goa during its rule to get their birth registered in Portugal and thus avail of citizenship and Portuguese travel identity documents. The privilege was later extended to two more generations of Goans.

Nearly two lakh Goans have so far opted for Portuguese citizenship, retaining their Indian citizenship at the same time.

The home ministry has now promised to set up an authority in Goa soon to examine the citizenship issue on a case-by-case basis.

–IANS

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