Nationals of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan from Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian communities to get Indian citizenship sooner

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The Ministry Of Home Affairs (MHA) on March 11, 2024, notified the Citizenship Amendment Rules, 2024, that would enable the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), passed by the parliament in 2019.

This act benefits nationals of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh from Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian communities who migrated to India before December 31, 2014, due to religious persecution.

Moreover, on Tuesday, the home ministry launched a web portal for persecuted individuals from six minority communities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh to apply for Indian citizenship and provide relief to those facing religious persecution.

Previously, migrants had to live in India for at least 11 years to qualify for citizenship, but the amended law reduced this to five years.

Around 500 Sindhi-Hindu families migrated to Pune from Pakistan in the last three decades, with roughly 120 still awaiting citizenship.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah posted on X, “These rules will now enable minorities persecuted on religious grounds in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to acquire citizenship in our nation. With this notification PM Shri @narendramodi Ji has delivered on another commitment and realized the promise of the makers of our constitution to the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians living in those countries.”

This new rule will expedite the process, benefiting more individuals. However, despite the necessary documentation, applicants often face delays and bureaucratic hurdles, spending hours at police stations for examinations.

The Pune district administration has cleared 287 out of 324 citizenship applications received in the past six years, with 18 pending and 19 rejected due to insufficient documentation.

Of the pending applications, nine await intelligence bureau reports, six await approval from the Foreigners Regional Registration Office, and three await acceptance letters.

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