Even as the country boils over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the Centre on Friday night announced that the law has come into effect from January 10.
In a gazette notification, the Union Home Ministry said the act under which non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will be granted Indian citizenship, will come into force from January 10.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (47 of 2019), the Central Government hereby appoints the 10th day of January 2020, as the date on which the provisions of the said Act shall come into force,” the notification said.
The CAA was passed by parliament on December 11. According to the CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
Protests have continued to erupt across the country against the contentious law stating that it is “anti-minority” and therefore “unconstitutional”.
Those who are opposed to the legislation have said that it is for the first time that India will grant citizenship on the basis of religion which violates the basic tenets of the country’s constitution.
However, the government and ruling BJP has been defending the act saying that the minority groups from the three countries have no other option but to come to India when they face religious persecution there. The home ministry, however, is yet to frame the rules for the act.
Meanwhile, the BJP has launched a door-to-door campaign to make people understand the provisions of the new legislation.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has been adamant on the move as he yet again last week asserted that the Government will not budge an inch on its decision to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).