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Business News/ News / India/  India issues first set of citizenship certificates under new CAA rules, 14 get Indian nationality
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India issues first set of citizenship certificates under new CAA rules, 14 get Indian nationality

Th Union home ministry informed that Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla handed over citizenship certificates to 14 applicants in Delhi on Wednesday.

The Union home ministry said the first set of citizenship certificates after notification of Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024 were issued on Wednesday.Premium
The Union home ministry said the first set of citizenship certificates after notification of Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024 were issued on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Home Affairs announced that the first set of citizenship certificates were issued on Wednesday. It informed that Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla handed over citizenship certificates to 14 applicants in New Delhi. The development came months after India notified the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules.

The ministry further informed that the citizenship certificates were “physically handed over to 14 applicants in Delhi" on Wednesday. “Digitally signed certificates are being issued to many other applicants through email," the government said.

The Union home ministry said in a press release, "The Empowered Committee, Delhi headed by Director (Census Operation), Delhi, after due scrutiny, have decided to grant citizenship to 14 applicants. Accordingly, Director (Census operation) granted certificates to these applicants."

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

Bharat, one of the applicants who received citizenship certificate said, “I feel like I got a new life. I want to thank PM Modi [Prime Minister Narendra Modi] for this...since 10-12 years we wanted the citizenship...I came from Pakistan...I never went to school there. I studied a little bit after coming here."

Another applicants Yashoda said she has been staying in India since 2013 and had come from Pakistan. "…now that I have received citizenship, situation will be better...I have been waiting for this like when I will get citizenship and when my children will be able to study...grateful to PM Modi and India...," she said.

What are Citizenship (Amendment) Rules?

The Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024 (CAA) was enacted in December 2019. Under this Act, the government decided to grant Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who came to India on or before December 31, 2014. These include Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians.

After the enactment, the CAA got the president's assent but the rules under which the Indian citizenship was granted were issued only this year after over four years delay.

India had notified the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024 on March 11, 2024. “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," the home ministry said.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which was later passed by Parliament, had triggered massive uproar across the country when it was first introduced in 2019.

Critics and Muslim groups protested against the CAA while claiming that the citizenship law will protect non-Muslims who are excluded from the register, while Muslims could face deportation or internment.

Many believed that the government could use the law, combined with a proposed citizenship registry, to marginalize Muslims. However, political leaders, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, had assured that "no one will face any inconvenience and difficulty. You will get both citizenship and respect in the country."

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Published: 15 May 2024, 04:27 PM IST
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