CHANDIGARH: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday said that about 1,500 people who came to India after facing religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan were living in Haryana, and they can now be given citizenship because of the new law.
"Around 1,500 people belonging to different minority communities of these three countries have been living in Haryana. Out of these 1,500, there is only one Muslim family," Khattar told reporters.
Khattar said these people, living at several places including Fatehabad and Rohtak districts, have applied for Indian citizenship.
"Earlier there was no provision and but now they can be given citizenship."
The amended Citizenship Act seeks to provide citizenship to members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have entered India till December 31, 2014, following religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Khattar lashed out at the Congress party for spreading "misinformation" about the CAA, asserting the law was meant to give citizenship to people and not to take it away from them.
"Congress has been trying to create a misconception about the amended Citizenship Act, the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register among people for its vested interests, Khattar alleged.
He said the Congress was criticising the BJP "for the sake of criticism" and alleged that the opposition party was doing so for "vote-bank greed" as it had been turning irrelevant in the country.
He advised the opposition party to hold protest against Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who failed to protect their minorities.