KOLKATA: Union Home Minister Amit Shah while attending a rally in Kolkota said that the process of granting Indian citizenship to refugees under the CAA will begin once the process of COVID-19 vaccination ends.
This will also include the Matua community of West Bengal.
Slamming the ruling TMC government, the home minister stated that the opposition parties have been misleading the minorities about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, he said its implementation will not impact the citizenship status of Indian minorities.
"Mamata didi said we made a false promise. She started opposing the CAA and said she will never allow it. The BJP always fulfils the promises it makes. We have brought this law and refugees will get citizenship," Amit Shah said.
"As soon as the COVID-19 vaccination process ends the process of granting citizenship under CAA will begin," he added.
Earlier on February 10, The Ministry of Home Affairs stated in Rajya Sabha that the rules under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019 are under preparation and the Act has already come into force with effect from October 1, 2020. The Ministry made the statement on Wednesday after Congress MP Digvijaya Singh raised a question on whether the ministry has drafted the rules to be notified under CAA.
The Congress MP further questioned the ministry the details and date by which the rules under the amended citizenship act would be notified. "If yes, then what are details including the date by which the rules are expected to be notified. If not, then what are the reasons?" he questioned.
Responding to Singh's question on whether it has drafted the rules to be notified under CAA, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said that the Act has been notified on December 12, 2019.
"It has come into force with effect from October 1, 2020. The rules under the Act are under preparation. The committee on Subordinate Legislation, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have granted an extension of time up to April 9 and July 9 respectively to frame these rules," Rai added.
The law grants citizenship to refugees belonging to minority religions like Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who arrived in India before 2015. Since the Bill was announced and eventually amended, protests against the Act spread across the country. Protests in the Northeast too turned violent.
In February 2019, violence took place in the northeast area of Delhi between groups supporting and opposing the CAA which led to the deaths of at least 53 people.