Ministry of Home Affairs grants citizenship to 14 People under CAA

The Ministry of Home Affairs issued citizenship certificates to 14 individuals under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). This marks the first set of certificates handed out since the BJP-led Central government notified the CAA rules in March this year.

| Updated: 15 May, 2024 7:30 pm IST

NEW DELHI :The Ministry of Home Affairs issued citizenship certificates to 14 individuals under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). This marks the first set of certificates handed out since the BJP-led Central government notified the CAA rules in March this year.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla presented the certificates in New Delhi. He congratulated the recipients and highlighted key features of the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024, during an interactive session attended by senior officials, including the Secretary Posts, the Director of the Intelligence Bureau, and the Registrar General of India.

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The CAA, passed by Parliament in 2019, amends the Citizenship Act of 1955. It provides a fast-track pathway to Indian citizenship for migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who belong to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist, and Christian communities and who entered India by December 31, 2014, due to religious persecution. The Act reduces the qualification period for these migrants from 11 to 5 years.

The rules authorize District Level Committees (DLC) to accept applications and administer the oath of allegiance. After verification, these applications are forwarded to the State Level Empowered Committee for scrutiny. The entire process is managed through an online portal.

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The Ministry of Home Affairs stated that it has received applications from persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. After thorough verification and processing by the DLCs, the applications were scrutinized by the State Level Empowered Committee, which decided to grant citizenship to 14 applicants.

Despite criticism from opposition leaders, who argue that the CAA discriminates against Muslims, the BJP asserts that the law is necessary to protect persecuted minorities. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Amit Shah have committed to implementing the CAA nationwide.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act has sparked widespread protests and debates across India. Critics fear it could marginalize Muslims, while the government insists it aims to provide a safe haven for persecuted minorities from neighboring countries.

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