Under CAA, proof of religious beliefs must for applying citizenship

Non-Muslim applicants will have to furnish documents to prove they entered India on/before December 31, 2014

CAA, CItizenship (Amendment) Act, citizenship, proof, religious beliefs, non-Muslim refugees, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, Christian, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh
Those who seek Indian citizenship under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act will have to provide proof of their religious beliefs. File photo: PTI

Non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan will have to provide proof of their religious beliefs while applying for Indian citizenship under the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAA), officials said on Monday.

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.

Those who will seek Indian citizenship under the CAA will have to provide proof of their religious beliefs and this will be mentioned in the rules to be issued under the CAA, a government official said.

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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, due to religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants and will be given Indian citizenship.

The central government is also likely 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 said.

Different norms for Assam

Some Assam-specific provisions are expected to be incorporated in the rules to be issued for the implementation of the CAA.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had 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 continuing protests against the CAA in Assam that have been going on since the legislation was passed by Parliament in December last year.

Also read: Citizenship Act reopens old wounds of Assamese sub-nationalism

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 the 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.