Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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CAA ball sets rolling

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First set of certificates issued; 14 get citizenship

New Delhi, May 15: The first set of citizenship certificates under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was issued Wednesday here to 14 people, nearly two months after rules under the contentious law were notified to grant Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from three neighbouring countries.
Sources said 14 people were handed over the certificates symbolically at a special function held here while digitally signed certificates are also being sent to a “few hundred” other applicants through email.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah termed it a “historic day”, saying the decades-long wait of those who faced religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan is over.
Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla handed over the certificates to the 14 people after their applications were processed online through a designated portal, an official spokesperson said.
This comes in the midst of the general elections which started on April 19. The last phase of polling will be held on June 1 while the counting will take place on June 4.
The CAA was enacted in December 2019 for granting Indian nationality to persecuted Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who came to India on or before December 31, 2014.
After the enactment, the CAA got the president’s assent but the rules under which the Indian citizenship was granted were issued on March 11 after over a delay of four years.
“It is a great feeling to be an Indian. It has given a new life to me,” 24-year-old Bharat Kumar, who had come from Sindh in Pakistan 11 years ago, told PTI minutes after he received the citizenship certificate.
Shah said the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian brothers and sisters who fled religious persecution in the three countries have started getting Indian citizenship and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has fulfilled the promise made at the time of the country’s independence.
“I express my gratitude to Modiji for giving justice and rights to these people who suffered for decades. I also assure all my refugee brothers and sisters that the Modi government will give citizenship to all of them through the CAA,” he said on X in Hindi. “Modi’s guarantee…the guarantee of fulfilling promises.” (PTI)

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