The Indian Central government said Friday the provisions of the Citizenship Amendment Act were to come into force on Friday itself, in an official notification.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11 and signed into law by President Ram Nath Kovind on December 13, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticized for excluding Muslims.
At least 26 people died in last month’s protests against the citizenship law. Of these, 19 died in Uttar Pradesh, five in Assam and two in Karnataka.
The protests, which began at the Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, first spread to other prominent colleges, and then on to the streets.
In Uttar Pradesh, the police were accused of using excessive force against the demonstrators, and even detaining and torturing minors.
In northeastern states, demonstrators feel the Act will erode their ethnic identities by granting citizenship to foreigners on religious grounds.
Mamata meets Modi, asks to rethink CAA, citizens’ list
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday after arriving in Kolkata on a two day-visit. The meeting at the Raj Bhavan came amid a bitter face-off between Modi’s BJP and Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that has triggered massive protests across India, reports NDTV.
“It was a courtesy call since he has come to Bengal. I told the Prime Minister that people of the state are not accepting the CAA, NRC [National Register of Citizens] and NPR [National Population Register]. I asked him to rethink these steps,” Ms Banerjee said.
The chief minister, one of the strongest critics of the new law, said PM Modi asked her to come for a meeting in Delhi on the issues since he had come to West Bengal for other programs.
“I also reminded him that the center owes around Rs38,000 crore to Bengal including Rs7,000 crore as relief for Cyclone Bulbul,” Banerjee said.