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Government invites non-Muslim refugees to apply for “Indian citizenship”

New Delhi; The Union home ministry is yet to promulgate laws under the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the Centre proposed non-Muslims (Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists) from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan and staying in 13 districts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, and Punjab to appeal for Indian citizenship. The Union home ministry declared an announcement to this effect for quick implementation of the mandate under the Citizenship Act 1955 and Rules raised under the law in 2009. The rules under the CAA are yet to be devised by the government.

This is in supplement to the 16 districts in seven states that were provided powers to confirm and validate citizenship under pre-CAA provision i.e., Citizenship Act, 1955. The total number of districts where this is being executed is 29 districts in nine states. Non-Muslims who are qualified to apply for Indian citizenship are those currently residing in the districts of Morbi, Rajkot, Patan, and Vadodara of Gujarat, Durg, and Balodabazar in Chhattisgarh, Jalore, Udaipur, Pali, Barmer, and Sirohi in Rajasthan, Faridabad in Haryana and Jalandhar in Punjab.
When the CAA was passed in 2019, there were extensive objections in several parts of the nation and even disorders occurred in Delhi in early 2020 in the watch of these protests. According to the CAA, Indian citizenship will be provided to non-Muslim oppressed minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan- Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi, and Christian who had arrived in India till December 31, 2014.

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Apparently, the home ministry’s mandate makes no notice of West Bengal and Assam where the subject of CAA was proposed during the recent state assembly polls, with both states bestowing a widespread boundary with Bangladesh. During the recently-concluded assembly polls, many BJP leaders said that CAA rules were on the farrier. But with various states going into lockdown and limitations because of increasing Covid cases back in April, there appears to be an excessive lag in the release of CAA rules.


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