New Delhi: The Indian government is likely to soon enact a law for rehabilitation of Hindu refugees from Pakistan and Bangladesh. The issue was discussed at a meeting held at home Minister Rajnath Singh's residence.

The meeting was attended by Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shakar Prasad and Venkaiah Naidu, apart from BJP president Amit Shah, party member Ramlal and RSS functionary Krishna Gopal. Sources said the issue was taken up on the insistence of RSS. "The issue has been of concern to the party as well as the Sangh Parivar. It was discussed during the meeting and a decision will be taken in due course," said a BJP member close to Rajnath Singh.

There are over one lakh Hindu and Sikh refugees who have migrated from Pakistan and Bangladesh over the years, due to various reasons including persecution by the majority community in those countries. More and more such people keep pouring into the country every year. These refugees have been forced to live in India, on short-term visas that are extended periodically. Associations of these refugees have been for long demanding citizenship for them.

There are about 400 Pakistani Hindu refugee settlements in cities like Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Jaipur. Most Hindu refugees from Bangladesh live in West Bengal and north-eastern states.

RSS has been campaigning for rehabilitation of such refugees for several years with arguments that their percentage in Bangladesh and Pakistan population, has been consistently dwindling and that it was Centre's responsibility to give them protection.

The latest move is consistent with the promise that PM Narendra Modi made, during election rallies in West Bengal and Rajasthan. Modi had said that Hindu refugees from Pakistan and Bangladesh would be treated on par with Indian citizens.