Asserting that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) does not apply to Indian citizens, the Home Ministry said the process would “ensure no Indian citizen is unduly harassed or put to inconvenience.”
“#Citizenship of India may be proved by giving any document relating to date of birth or place of birth or both. Such a list is likely to include a lot of common documents to ensure that no Indian citizen is unduly harassed or put to inconvenience,” the spokesperson said.
In a series of tweets, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) spokesperson listed out provisions pertaining to Indian citizenship and concerns regarding CAA, amid ongoing protests across the country.
Assuring that a well-laid out procedure in this regard would be issued by the Home Ministry, it stated, “Indian citizens do not have to prove any ancestry by presenting documents like identity cards, birth certificates, etc of parents/grandparents dating back to the pre-1971 situation.”
Illiterate citizens, who may not have any documents, authorities may allow them to produce witnesses or local proofs supported by members of community. A well laid out procedure will be followed.#CAA2019
— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) December 20, 2019
The MHA spokesperson said illiterate citizens not having any documents will be allowed to produce witnesses or local proofs supported by members of the community.
Reiterating its stance, the Home Ministry also said, “The CAA does not target any religious community from abroad.”
It further said that the legislation is a means to provide a mechanism for some migrants who may otherwise have been called “illegal” depriving them of opportunity to apply for Indian citizenship provided they meet certain conditions.
Referring to the disruption in various North Eastern states over the amended Citizenship Act, the MHA spokesperson said: “CAA protects the interests of the tribals & indigenous people of North East by excluding areas under 6th Schedule and areas covered by Inner Line Permit. Therefore, there is no question of any influx of foreigners swamping the indigenous population.”
The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) became law after receiving the President’s assent on December 12, following a bruising debate in Parliament. The new citizenship law grants citizenship to individuals who are Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain, or Parsi who entered India from Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Afghanistan by the cut-off date of December 31, 2014.
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