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Applicants seeking citizenship under CAA may have to provide ‘proof of religion’: Reports

Multiple reports also suggest that the Home Ministry has accepted a demand from Assam that application for citizenship under CAA should be time bound

January 28, 2020 / 09:39 AM IST
Home Minister Amit Shah dismissed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of the government on India-China tensions, saying his party and he had “no right” to point fingers on the issue. Shah said the Congress leader should first give an account to the nation on how much territory his party ceded to China when it was in power.

Home Minister Amit Shah dismissed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of the government on India-China tensions, saying his party and he had “no right” to point fingers on the issue. Shah said the Congress leader should first give an account to the nation on how much territory his party ceded to China when it was in power.

Those seeking Indian citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will not only have to prove that they came from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, but also submit ‘proof of religion’, reports suggested.

Applicants will have to submit any document acquired before December 31, 2014, in which they have declared their religion. This is being mooted as part of the rules for CAA currently being drafted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

According to the CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who came from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, and faced religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants and will be eligible for Indian citizenship. The law excludes Muslims.

Giving an example, an official told The Indian Express: “if someone has enrolled his/her children in a government school, he/ she would have declared their religion. If someone has acquired Aadhaar before December 31, 2014, and has declared his/her religion as being from among the six mentioned in the Act, it would be acceptable… Any form of government document declaring religion will be accepted.”

The report adds that under CAA rules, applicants are unlikely to be asked for evidence of religious persecution. It would be instead presumed that those who entered India either faced persecution or feared that they would be persecuted.

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On Assam’s short window demand

Multiple reports also suggest that the MHA has accepted a demand from the Assam government that application for citizenship under CAA should be time-bound.

Assam had reportedly asked the Home Ministry to cap the time period for such applications to three months. The state felt that keeping application period open-ended could lead to an increase in apprehensions over CAA in the state.

CAA was notified on January 10. However, the rules have not been finalised and notified yet.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the reports.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jan 28, 2020 09:37 am

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