Proof Of Religion Needed For Applications Under Citizenship Law: Sources

"All those who want to seek Indian citizenship, they all have to submit some sort of document that they have entered India before December 31, 2014," said a senior functionary.

Protests have erupted across the country over the Citizenship Amendment Act.

New Delhi:

Migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who wish to get the benefit of Citizenship Amendment Act, have to provide proof of their religious beliefs while applying for Indian citizenship, sources told NDTV.

"In India we all have submitted some form of proof relating to religion and all those who want to seek Indian citizenship, they all have to submit some sort of document that they have entered India before December 31, 2014," said a senior functionary aware of developments relating to the drafting of rules.

According to him, the applicants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Jain or Parsi faiths will also have to furnish documents to prove that they entered India on or before December 31, 2014.

To calm tempers of agitating protestors in Assam, the state government has proposed a smaller window for application of citizenship.

"The Central government has agreed to give a relatively smaller window of just three months to those who want to apply for Indian citizenship in Assam under the CAA," another official explained.

The Centre is also working on certain Assam-specific provisions which are expected to be incorporated in the rules to be issued for the implementation of the CAA.
   
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and his Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma made a request about a fortnight ago to keep a limited period window for applying under the CAA and also incorporate some other Assam-specific provisions in the CAA rules.

The move comes in view of protests against the CAA in Assam continuing since the law was passed by Parliament in December last year. There has been a growing feeling among the indigenous people of Assam that the newly enacted legislation will hurt their interests politically, culturally as well as socially.

The Assam Accord provides for detection and deportation of all illegal immigrants who have entered the country after 1971 and are living in the state, irrespective of their religion. The protesters in Assam say that the CAA violates the provisions of the Assam Accord.

The Citizenship Amendment Act makes religion, for the first time, the test of Indian citizenship. The government says it will help non-Muslim refugees from three Muslim-dominated neighbouring countries if they fled to India because of religious persecution. Critics say the bill discriminates against Muslims and violates secular tenets of the Constitution.

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