The Narendra Modi Government today announced the implementation of Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 regulations. It was an integral part of the BJP’s 2019 manifesto. With this notification, the persecuted migrants beloging to minority communities will be able to get citizenship of India. Following the passage of the CAA by Parliament in December 2019 and its subsequent Presidential assent, significant protests erupted in various parts of the country after which the Modi government had put the implementation of the law in an abeyance. On December 27, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had asserted that the implementation of the CAA cannot be halted as it stands as the law of the land. 

What Is CAA?

The Citizenship Amendment Act aims to confer Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants – including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians – who migrated from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and arrived in India before December 31, 2014. The government has set up an online portal for allowing the migrants to apply for the citizenship. Applicants will need to disclose the year of their entry into India without any travel documents. No additional documentation will be required from the applicants.

Enabling CAA Through District Magistrate

During the past two years, over 30 district magistrates and home secretaries across nine states have been authorized with the ability to confer Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians arriving from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan under the Citizenship Act of 1955. As per the Ministry of Home Affairs annual report for 2021-22, between April 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021, a cumulative count of 1,414 individuals from non-Muslim minority communities originating from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan were granted Indian citizenship through registration or naturalization under the Citizenship Act, 1955.

West Bengal Government’s Stand On CAA

The Mamata Banerjee government has been opposed to the CAA. “If people are deprived of their rights under the rules, then we will fight against it. This is BJP’s publicity for elections, it is nothing else,” said Banerjee today. Banerjee also said that she won’t allow the government to implement the NRC as well. The Bengal CM added that everyone who live in Bengal are citizens of India.