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First Time Ever: Centre Hands Over Citizenship Certificates to 14 Applicants Under CAA

For the first time, 14 people have been given Indian citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The Home Ministry gave this information on Wednesday (May 15). The ministry said that citizenship certificates have been issued to 14 people.

On this, Home Minister Amit Shah said in social media platform X that today is a historic day. He also assured that every refugee will be given citizenship under CAA.

The central government had implemented CAA across the country on March 11, 2024. Under CAA, there is a provision to give citizenship to non-Muslim refugees who came from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before 31 December 2014.

In fact, the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) was passed by the Lok Sabha on 10 December 2019 and by the Rajya Sabha the next day. CAA became law after getting approval from President Ramnath Kovind on 12 December 2019.

1. Who will get citizenship: People of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who came to India after being persecuted on religious grounds from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh before December 31, 2014, will be given citizenship. Only people from these three countries will be able to apply for citizenship.

2. What is the impact on Indian citizens: CAA has nothing to do with Indian citizens. Indians have the right to citizenship under the Constitution. CAA or any law cannot take it away.

3. How to apply: Application has to be made online. The applicant will have to tell when he came to India. You will be able to apply even if you do not have a passport or other travel documents. Under this, the period of stay in India has been kept more than 5 years. For the rest of the foreigners (Muslims) this period is more than 11 years.

CAA is not about expelling foreigners. This has nothing to do with expelling illegal refugees. The Foreigners Act 1946 and the Passport Act 1920 are already in force for such refugees. Under both the laws, foreigners of any country or religion are allowed to enter or expel India.

There have been apprehensions regarding CAA in BJP ruled Assam-Tripura. The first protest also took place in Assam. There is a provision in CAA that foreigners who came and settled in Assam before March 24, 1971, should be given citizenship. After this Bangladesh became a separate 

CAA was seen as a stepping stone to create NRC i.e. National Citizenship Register in the country. People feared that a large number of people would be thrown out by branding them as foreign infiltrators. Fears were expressed in the neighboring country Bangladesh that with the implementation of NRC after CAA, a large number of Bangladeshi refugees would return to it.

Under the Citizenship Act 1955, more than 30 District Magistrates and Home Secretaries of 9 states have been given the power to grant citizenship. These states are- Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Punjab, UP, Delhi, Maharashtra.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 (CAA) was introduced in 2016 to amend the 1955 law . In this, some changes had to be made in the 1955 law. On 12 August 2016, it was sent to the Joint Parliamentary Committee. The committee had submitted the report on 7 January 2019.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Home Minister Amit Shah on 9 December 2019. On December 11, 2019, 125 votes were cast in its favor and 99 against in the Rajya Sabha. It got the approval of the President on 12 December 2019.

There was controversy over this bill even before it was introduced in the Lok Sabha, but after it became a law, the opposition to it intensified. Demonstrations took place in many areas of Delhi. On the night of 23 February 2020, the violence that broke out after a crowd gathered at Jafrabad Metro station turned into riots. More than 50 people have lost their lives in protest against the law.