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CAA citizenship certificates given to beneficiaries in West Bengal, says Centre

The Ministry of Home Affairs announced that West Bengal has commenced granting citizenship certificates under the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024. This marks the beginning of the process, with the first set of certificates issued by the state's Empowered Committee.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Updated on: May 29, 2024 23:02 IST
MHA CAA
Image Source : PTI/FILE PHOTO Ministry of Home Affairs building.

The Union government commenced granting citizenship under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in West Bengal, Haryana, and Uttarakhand on Wednesday. The CAA, enacted in December 2019, aims to provide Indian nationality to persecuted Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi, and Christian migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014.

Expansion to Haryana and Uttarakhand

Empowered Committees in Haryana and Uttarakhand have also started issuing citizenship certificates to applicants under the same rules. This marks a significant step in the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) across multiple states.

First certificates in Delhi

Earlier, on May 15, 2024, the Union Home Secretary handed over the first set of citizenship certificates to applicants in New Delhi, following the notification of the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024 on March 11, 2024.

Rules and procedures

The Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024, outline the application process, which includes submission via an online portal, review by District Level Committees (DLCs), and final approval by State Level Empowered Committees (ECs). The rules apply to persons from Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi, and Christian communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who entered India before December 31, 2014, due to religious persecution or fear thereof.

 

State empowered committees issue certificates

The applicants in West Bengal, Haryana, and Uttarakhand received citizenship certificates from their respective State Empowered Committees, according to a statement from the Union Home Ministry. This marked the second tranche of citizenship certificates issued after the notification of the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024.

First certificates issued in Delhi

The first set of citizenship certificates was handed over by the Union Home Secretary in New Delhi on May 15, 2024. This latest round of certificates comes just days before the final phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections on June 1.

Final phase of Lok Sabha polls

Several constituencies in West Bengal are set to vote in the final phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Saturday, with the counting of votes scheduled for June 4.

Delayed implementation of CAA rules

Despite the CAA's enactment in 2019, the rules for granting citizenship under the Act were only issued on March 11, 2024, following a delay of more than four years. These rules outline the application process, procedures for processing applications by District Level Committees (DLCs), and the final approval by State Level Empowered Committees (SLECs). The entire process is managed through an online portal.

Protests and controversy

The passage of the CAA in 2019 triggered widespread protests across the country, with critics labeling the law as "discriminatory." Over a hundred people died during the anti-CAA protests or in related police actions. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has consistently stated that the CAA, being the law of the land, will be implemented and has accused opposition parties of misleading the public on the issue.

Also read | Delhi hitting 52.3 degrees celsius very unlikely, weather officials to verify, says Kiren Rijiju

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