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Proofs of religious beliefs to be required for applying citizenship under CAA

The applicants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Jain or Parsi faiths will also have to furnish documents to prove that they entered India on or before December 31, 2014.

Published: 27th January 2020 07:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2020 08:45 AM   |  A+A-

Waiving the Tricolour, shouting slogans and holding posters and banners against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), thousands of people hit the streets of Hyderabad on Saturday bringing the city to a grinding halt

Waiving the Tricolour, shouting slogans and holding posters and banners against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), thousands of people hit the streets of Hyderabad on Saturday bringing the city to a grinding halt (Photo | S Senbagapandiyan, EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh are likely to be asked for a “proof of religion” when they seek Indian citizenship under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, officials said on Monday.

Sharing details of the draft rules for the CAA, they said that the rules will also require immigrants to furnish documents to prove that they arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014 from the three specified countries.

The rules will ensure that the law is not misused and that genuine people from the three countries get citizenship, officials said, adding that rules may specify applicants to prove religion through government records.

“Applicants will have to provide proof of religious beliefs through documents."

READ| West Bengal Assembly passes anti-CAA resolution, fourth state to do so

"Any of the applicants living in India from before 2014, will have some government document or the other where they would have mentioned their religion,” a senior government official said.

The official added that the states would have “no role” in implementing CAA and that the refusal of some states to do so holds no merit.

“Under the CAA, there is a provision for notifying authority for the implementation of the law. The government will soon notify a central authority. So, the states will not have any role in implementing the CAA,” 

According to the CAA, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who arrived from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, due to religious persecution will be granted Indian citizenship. 

The Centre is also likely to give a relatively smaller window of three months to those who want to apply for Indian citizenship in Assam, another official said.

Assam has requested the Centre to keep a limited period window and to also incorporate some other state-specific provisions in the CAA rules.

The move comes in view of ongoing CAA protests in which protesters say the CAA violates the provisions of the Assam Accord, which provides for detention and deportation of all illegal immigrants who had entered the country after 1971.

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