CAA implemented for granting citizenship to minorities from Pak-Af-B'desh

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 11-03-2024
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah


New Delhi

Four years after Parliament passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the govedrnment today notified its rules making this law come into action and enabling religious minorities persecuted in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to acquire Indian citizenship.

This was disclosed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in a post on X:

Shah said with this Prime Minister Narendra Modi has delivered on another commitment and realised the promise of the makers of our constitution to the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians living in those countries.

With the rules being notified the CAA has been implemented in India and it will enable government to confer Indian citizenship to the persecuted non-Muslim migrants - including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians - who migrated from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and arrived in India before December 31, 2014.

Following the passage of the CAA by Parliament in December 2019 and its subsequent Presidential assent, significant protests erupted in various parts of the country.

With this, CAA law can be put into action and allow eligible individuals to obtain Indian citizenship.

"The regulations are prepared, and an online portal is already set up for the entire process, which will be conducted digitally. Applicants will need to disclose the year of their entry into India without any travel documents. No additional documentation will be required from the applicants," stated the official.

Danish Kaneria, former cricketer from Pakistan, who has publically spoken how he was harrassed and ostracised by his team mates on religious grounds in Pakistan, has welcomed the CAA. He wrote on X:

On December 27, Amit Shah asserted that the implementation of the CAA cannot be halted as it stands as the law of the land.

Speaking at a party meeting in Kolkata, Shah earlier emphasized that the BJP is committed to implementing the CAA. Mamta Banejee has been opposing the CAA.

The assurance of implementing the highly debated CAA was a significant electoral agenda for the BJP during the previous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in West Bengal. Leaders of the ruling party at the Centre view it as a credible factor contributing to the BJP's ascent in the state.

As per the manual of parliamentary procedures, the guidelines for any legislation should have been formulated within six months of receiving the presidential assent, or the government should have sought an extension from the Committees on Subordinate Legislation in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Since 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs has been regularly seeking extensions from the parliamentary committees to continue the process of framing the rules associated with the legislation.

Over a 100 individuals lost their lives either during the protests or due to police action subsequent to the passage of the law in Parliament.

During the past two years, over 30 district magistrates and home secretaries across nine states have been authorized with the ability to confer Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians arriving from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan under the Citizenship Act of 1955.

As per the Ministry of Home Affairs annual report for 2021-22, between April 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021, a cumulative count of 1,414 individuals from non-Muslim minority communities originating from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan were granted Indian citizenship through registration or naturalization under the Citizenship Act, 1955.

Under the Citizenship Act of 1955, Indian citizenship by registration or naturalization is granted to non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan in nine states such as Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Maharashtra.

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It's notable that authorities in districts of Assam and West Bengal, both politically sensitive regions on this matter, have not been empowered with these citizenship-granting authorities thus far.