The central government has taken a major step on Friday. It has decided to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, living in 13 districts of the country. For this, applications have been called from these people.
However, the government is yet to frame the rules under the amended Citizenship Act (CAA), which came into force in 2019. When the CAA came into force in 2019, widespread protests erupted in various parts of the country. There were riots in Delhi in early 2020 amid these protests.
According to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), citizenship will be granted to minority non-Muslims who had come to India as of 31 December 2014 in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
What has the Ministry of Home Affairs said?
The notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs said, “In exercise of the powers conferred under Section 16 of the Citizenship Act, 1955, the Central Government has taken this step under Section 5 of the Act.” Under this, the minority communities of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan residing in the above states and districts have been directed to register as Indian citizens.
What is the Citizenship Amendment Act?
The government enacted the Citizenship Amendment Act in 2019. There were demonstrations across the country. This law provides for the granting of citizenship of India to non-Muslim migrants who have come to India from three neighboring countries. These countries are Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The government claims that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and people of Christianity are a minority in these countries. They are persecuted in these countries. Therefore, these refugees who have completed five years in India will be given citizenship of India. Previously, 11 years was a condition for acquiring citizenship of India.