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First set of citizenship certificates issued under CAA, 14 people granted Indian nationality

Union Home Secretary hands over citizenship certificates to applicants in New Delhi; Bengal at the core of CAA push

First set of citizenship certificates issued under CAA, 14 people granted Indian nationality

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla hands over the first set of citizenship certificates under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), in New Delhi, on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. PTI



Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon 

New Delhi, May 15

The first set of citizenship certificates after the notification of Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024, about two months ago, were issued on Wednesday.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla handed over the citizenship certificates to some applicants in New Delhi today.

The Home Secretary congratulated the applicants and highlighted salient features of the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024. 

Secretary Posts, Director (IB), Registrar General of India and senior officers were also present during the interactive session.

The Government of India had notified Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024, on 11th March 2024.

The rules envisage manner of application form, procedure for processing applications by the District Level Committee (DLC) and scrutiny and grant of citizenship by the state-level Empowered Committee (EC).

“In pursuance of these rules, applications have been received from persons belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who have entered into India up to 31.12.2014 on account of persecution on grounds of religion or fear of such persecution,” a Union Home Ministry statement said.

The District Level Committees (DLCs) chaired by Senior Superintendents of Post/Superintendents of Post as designated officers, on successful verification of documents, have administered oath of allegiance to the applicants.

“After processing as per rules, DLCs have forwarded the applications to the State Level Empowered Committee headed by the Director (Census operation).  Processing of applications is completely done through the online portal. The Empowered Committee, Delhi headed by Director (Census Operation), Delhi, after due scrutiny, have decided to grant citizenship to 14 applicants.  Accordingly, the Director (Census operation) granted certificates to these applicants,” the government said.

The qualification period of application for citizenship has been reduced from 11 to five years for undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who came into India before December 31, 2014 under the Citizenship Amendment Rules.

The ruling BJP has made CAA a major poll issue with the eastern state at the core of BJP's CAA push. 

The government had notified rules to implement the long-awaited Citizenship Amendment Act 2019, part of the saffron family's poll promise in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the 2021 West Bengal polls, a day after the ruling TMC in Bengal declared all its 42 Lok Sabha candidates.

In Bengal, BJP seeks to guarantee citizenship to nearly 30 lakh-strong Matuas who hold sway in about five Lok Sabha segments and over 50 Assembly seats across North and South 24 Parganas and Nadia districts.

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