Govt invites citizenship applications from non-Muslim refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh

With the Union house ministry but to inform guidelines below the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the Centre on Friday invited non-Muslims (Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists) from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan and residing in 13 districts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Punjab to use for Indian citizenship.

The Union house ministry issued a notification to this impact for speedy implementation of the order below the Citizenship Act 1955 and Rules framed below the regulation in 2009. The guidelines below the CAA are but to be framed by the federal government.

This is along with the 16 districts in seven states that got powers to confirm and approve citizenship below pre-CAA provision i.e., Citizenship Act, 1955. The complete variety of districts the place that is being applied is 29 districts in 9 states.

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Non-Muslims who’re eligible to use for Indian citizenship are these presently dwelling within the districts of Morbi, Rajkot, Patan and Vadodara of Gujarat, Durg and Balodabazar in Chhattisgarh, Jalore, Udaipur, Pali, Barmer and Sirohi in Rajasthan, Faridabad in Haryana and Jalandhar in Punjab.

When the CAA was enacted in 2019, there were widespread protests in different parts of the country and even riots occurred in Delhi in early 2020 within the wake of those protests.

According to the CAA, Indian citizenship might be given to non-Muslim persecuted minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan — Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian — who had come to India until December 31, 2014.

Interestingly, the house ministry’s order makes no point out of West Bengal and Assam the place the matter of CAA was raised through the latest state meeting elections, with each states sharing an unlimited border with Bangladesh.

During the recently-concluded meeting polls, a number of BJP leaders stated that CAA guidelines have been on the anvil. But with a number of states going into lockdown and curfews as a result of rising Covid instances again in April, there appears to be an inordinate delay within the announcement of CAA guidelines.

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Most of these making use of are on Long Term Visas (LTVs).

The MHA order has been issued below the Citizenship Act 1955 and never below the CAA, 2019. The same notification was issued in 2018 as nicely for different districts in a number of states.

The house ministry stated the verification of the appliance is finished concurrently by the collector or secretary (Home) of Haryana and Punjab because the case could also be, on the district-level and the state-level, and the appliance and the stories thereon shall be made accessible concurrently to the Centre on the net portal.

In 2018, the federal government granted related powers to collectors and residential secretaries of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. In 2016, an identical notification additionally included Maharashtra.

The ministry sources say the contemporary order is not any means linked to the Citizenship Amendment Act enacted in 2019.

“In exercise of powers conferred under Section 16 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 (57 of 1955), the central government hereby directs the powers exercisable by it for registration as a citizen of India under Section 5, or for grant of certificate of naturalisation under section 6 of the Citizenship Act 1955 in respect of any person belonging to the minority community in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan namely, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, residing in the districts mentioned and the states mentioned,” the notification reads.

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The collector or the secretary, because the case could also be, makes such inquiry as he considers mandatory for ascertaining the suitability of the applicant and for that function forwards the appliance on-line to such businesses for verification and feedback as could also be required for finishing such an inquiry and the directions issued by the Centre from time-to-time on this regard shall be strictly complied with by state or union territory and district involved, it stated.

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