14 people received citizenship certificates under the CAA for the first time – .

14 people received citizenship certificates under the CAA for the first time – .
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Home Minister Shri Ajay Kumar Bhalla handed over the citizenship certificates.

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The first batch of citizenship certificates for 14 people was issued today under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA, almost two months after the Center notified it, thereby starting the process of granting of Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. .

Under the CAA, the qualification period for applying for citizenship has been reduced from 11 to 5 years for undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who arrived in India before December 31, 2014.

Union Home Minister Shri Ajay Kumar Bhalla handed over the citizenship certificates to the candidates in Delhi and highlighted the salient features of the CAA. The posts of Secretary, Director (IB), Registrar General of India and senior officials were also present during the interactive session.

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The CAA was enacted in December 2019 to grant Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. These include Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians. The law received the President’s assent, but the rules under which Indian citizenship was granted were only released on March 11 this year, after more than four years of delay. The ruling BJP, which pledged to enact the Citizenship Amendment Bill in its 2019 manifesto, said its implementation was delayed due to the pandemic.

The notification drew sharp criticism from the Opposition, who called the move discriminatory and motivated by the Lok Sabha elections. The Centre, however, maintained that the CAA “does not prevent any Muslim persecuted for practicing his version of Islam from applying for Indian citizenship under existing laws”.

Several parts of the country have witnessed protests against the move to implement the CAA, with some fearing that the law could be used to declare them illegal immigrants and strip them of their Indian citizenship.

The government denies this and says the law is necessary to help minorities facing persecution in Muslim-majority countries, in line with India’s “generous and evergreen culture, obtain Indian citizenship for their happy and prosperous “.

“No citizen of India will be asked to produce any document to prove their citizenship,” the Amit Shah-led Home Ministry had said, adding that the Citizenship Act does not deal with deportation of illegal immigrants.

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