3,117 From Minority Communities Of Afghanistan, Pak, Bangladesh Granted Citizenship Since 2018: Government - Vibes Of India

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3,117 From Minority Communities Of Afghanistan, Pak, Bangladesh Granted Citizenship Since 2018: Government

| Updated: December 22, 2021 17:00

A significant percentage of minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh have got Indian citizenship since 2018 even though rules for Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) are yet to be framed.

Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai also told the Rajya Sabha that 10,365 applications for Indian citizenship are pending with the government as of December 14 this year. Of these, 7,306 claims are from Pakistan, 1,152 from Afghanistan and 161 from Bangladesh.

A total of 428 applications from stateless people are also pending with the government, according to the minister’s reply.

According to data provided by the government in Parliament, 8,244 people from Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Christian faiths from the three neighboring countries had applied for Indian citizenship during the period. Out of these, citizenship was granted to 3,117 people till December this year. Apart from this,2,254 foreigners from across the world were granted Indian citizenship between 2018 and 2020. 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 citizenships 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,” Mr Rai told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday in a written reply to a question. Indians do not have a refugee policy. The Citizenship Amendment Act was passed by the Parliament on December 11, 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 which argued that the legislation 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.

In reply to another question regarding the total number of foreigners granted Indian citizenship, the minister 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.

Following the enactment of CAA in 2019, Union 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.

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