India issued first citizenship certificates under CAA

Ahsan Munna

Published: May 15, 2024, 08:01 PM

India issued first citizenship certificates under CAA

Photo: India Today

The Indian government has given citizenship certificates to 14 individuals under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), which arrives nearly two months after the act was officially recognized by the Indian central government.

The Ruling BJP claims the CAA aims to extend Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.

One of the key provisions of the CAA is the reduction of the citizenship application qualification period from 11 to 5 years for undocumented non-Muslim migrants who arrived in India from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan before December 31, 2014.

Union Home Secretary Shri Ajay Kumar Bhalla personally handed over the citizenship certificates to the applicants.

The CAA, which was enacted in December 2019, and Reuters cited The CAA fast-tracks citizenship for oppressed Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Christians who fled to India before Dec. 31, 2014 from Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh due to religious persecution.

Muslim groups, opposition parties and rights activists accused the law of discriminating against Muslims and undermining India‍‍`s secular constitution. The law spurred criticism as it does not include Muslims fleeing Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

In Indian states such as Assam in the east, CAA has evoked concerns about increased migration from neighbouring Bangladesh, which has been a flashpoint in the region for decades.

Despite receiving presidential assent, the rules for granting Indian citizenship were only formalized on March 11 this year, following a delay of over four years.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which pledged to enact the Citizenship Amendment Bill in its 2019 manifesto, attributed the delay in implementation to the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Link copied!