CAA comes into effect: First set of citizenship certificates issued to 14 people

Anti CAA protests in Delhi in .2019-2020. [File Photo]

New Delhi: The first set of citizenship certificates under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) was issued to 14 people on Thursday, PTI reported. The move comes two months after the government of India initiated the process.

The CAA grants Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. The qualification period for citizenship application has been reduced from 11 to 5 years for these migrants who arrived before December 31, 2014.

Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla presented the citizenship certificates to the applicants in Delhi. The event was attended by senior officials, including the Secretary of Posts, Director (IB), and Registrar General of India.

Enacted in December 2019, the CAA aims to grant Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants, including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians, from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The Act received presidential assent, but the rules for granting citizenship were issued only on March 11 this year, delayed by over four years due to the pandemic. The ruling BJP, which pledged to enact the Citizenship Amendment Bill in its 2019 manifesto, cited the pandemic as the reason for the delay.

The notification faced sharp criticism from the opposition, who deemed it discriminatory and election-motivated. The Centre maintains that the CAA does not prevent persecuted Muslims from applying for Indian citizenship under existing laws.

Protests erupted in several parts of the country, with fears that the CAA could be used to declare people as illegal immigrants and revoke their citizenship. The government denies these claims, stating that the law is intended to help minorities facing persecution in Muslim-majority countries, in line with India’s tradition of providing refuge.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, led by Amit Shah, assured that no Indian citizen would be required to produce documents to prove their citizenship, and the Citizenship Act does not address the deportation of illegal immigrants.

Click to comment
To Top