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Govt: Most of those who got citizenship since 2018, minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh

MoS for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai also told the Rajya Sabha that 10,635 applications for Indian citizenship are pending with the government.

Nityanand RaiIn reply to another question regarding the total number of foreigners granted Indian citizenship, Nityanand Rai informed the House that between 2016 and 2020, as many as 4,177 people were granted Indian citizenship. (File photo)

While rules for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) are yet to be framed, government data shows that a significant majority of those granted Indian citizenship since 2018 were minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

According to data provided by the government in Parliament, 8,244 people from Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Christian faiths from the three neighbouring countries had applied for Indian citizenship during the period. Out of these, citizenship was granted to 3,117 people till December this year.

Moreover, between 2018 and 2020, the total number of foreigners from across the world who were granted Indian citizenship was 2,254. The overall data for 2021 was not available.

“Number of citizenship applications received from Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Christian minorities groups from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan during the year 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 is 8,244. Number of Indian citizenship granted to people belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Christian minorities groups from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan during the year 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 is 3117,” MoS for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday in a written reply to a question.

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Indian does not have a refugee policy. The CAA was enacted by the Parliament on December 12, 2019, but its rules have not been framed as yet.

The legislation, which seeks to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants belonging to Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Parsi, Christian and Buddhist communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, was passed by the Parliament amid vehement criticism from the Opposition that said the law had a “communal agenda” as it conspicuously left out Muslims.

“All foreign nationals including refuge seekers are governed by the provisions contained in The Foreigners Act, 1946, The Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939, The Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and The Citizenship Act, 1955,” Rai said in his reply.

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In reply to another question regarding the total number of foreigners granted Indian citizenship, Rai informed the House that between 2016 and 2020, as many as 4,177 people were granted Indian citizenship. Out of these, 628 claims were approved in 2018, 987 in 2019 and 639 in 2020.

Rai informed the House that as on December 14 this year, 10,635 applications for Indian citizenship were pending with the government. Out of these, 7,306 claims were from Pakistan, 1,152 from Afghanistan and 161 from Bangladesh. A total of 428 applications from stateless people were also pending with the government.

Following the enactment of CAA in 2019, Home Minister Amit Shah had said in media interviews that nearly 600 Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan had been granted Indian citizenship since 2014.

First published on: 22-12-2021 at 15:14 IST
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