Govt implements CAA; notifies rules

New Delhi, March 11: The Union Home Ministry on Monday notified the rules for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), paving the way for granting of citizenship to people of certain faiths facing persecution in neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan and having moved to India before 2015.

The CAA was an integral part of the BJP’s 2019 Lok Sabha polls manifesto. The law will enable the granting of citizenship to people of non-Muslim faiths, mainly Hindus, Sikhs, Jain, Buddhist, and Parsi communities, who had migrated to India before December 31, 2014, from neighbouring nations because of religious persecution.

The CAA was enacted by the Parliament in December 2019 amid large-scale demonstrations from the Muslim community and backed by Opposition parties. The announcement comes on the back of Home Minister Amit Shah’s recent assertions that the CAA will be implemented before the Lok Sabha elections, slated for April/May.

“CAA is an act of the country… it will definitely be notified. CAA will come into effect before the election, nobody should have doubts about it,” the Home Minister had said at an event in the capital.

The notification of the new law had been delayed as massive protests broke out across the nation with Muslims and Opposition parties demanding a rollback of the law calling it discriminatory.

Their claim was that Muslim community had been excluded from the CAA.

However, the Home Minister had replied that all the minority communities being persecuted on religious lines in these countries have been included.

Muslims are not included as they do not face religious persecution in these Islamic countries.

The Home Minister had reiterated in Parliament that Indian citizens of Muslim community do not need to fear anything, as this Bill would not affect their citizenship in any way.

He requested the Opposition not to do politics on this issue and divide people on communal lines.

“This Bill aims at granting rather than taking away someone’s citizenship,” he stressed.

The Home Minister said that grant of citizenship will be from the date and year of the entry into India and all the cases and legal proceedings against them would be closed, besides protecting their business and trade interests on an equal footing.

Even if the passports and visas of these minorities had expired, they would not be treated as illegal.

He also underlined that population of minorities in Pakistan and Bangladesh had reduced considerably over the years, as they were either killed or forced to change their religion, and thus were forced to flee to India.

The Home Minister said that partition of India on religious lines and subsequent failure of the Nehru-Liaqat pact of 1950 in protecting the rights and dignity of the minorities in Pakistan and Bangladesh were the reasons for bringing this Bill.

Related Articles