22-May-2024  Srinagar booked.net

India

GOI Implements CAA

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New Delhi: The government of India led by Prime Minister Narender Modi has announced the implementation of Citizenship Amendment Act on Monday, allowing non-Muslim refugees from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, to obtain Indian citizenship.

The CAA amends the Citizenship Act of 1955 to grant Indian citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, and Parsis who migrated from neighbouring Muslim-majority countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, before December 31, 2014. The implementation of CAA was promised by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in its 2019 election manifesto.

The 2019 amendment to CAA further relaxed the residence requirement for naturalisation of these migrants from twelve years to just six.

This came weeks after union home minister Amit Shah said the law would be implemented before the Lok Sabha (Parliamentary) elections.

In a post on X, the ministry's spokesperson said that the applications for the citizenship will be submitted in a completely online mode.

"Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will be notifying today, the Rules under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA-2019). These rules, called the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024 will enable the persons eligible under CAA-2019 to apply for grant of Indian citizenship. The applications will be submitted in a completely online mode for which a web portal has been provided," reads the post.

The CAA - which makes religion, for the first time, a test of Indian citizenship, and sparked fears it could be used to target religious minorities - was passed by the Parliament on December 11, 2019, and was notified on December 12 of the same year amid nationwide protests, in which over 100 people died, and fierce resistance from activists and opposition politicians.

A further impetus for protests is the expectation that with Muslims left out of the CAA, the all India National Register of Citizens (NRC) will find no place for Muslims but deem them stateless. This might occur even for those Muslims long resident in India.

Meanwhile, West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee said that her government will not allow the implementation of CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) or NRC (National Register of Citizens) in the state.