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The Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA), a US-based advocacy group, welcomed the formal notification of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in India and said that the decision is a ‘big win’ for the persecuted religious minorities of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

“A big win for HumanRights for the persecuted religious #minorities of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. India finally notifies the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which was passed by the Indian Parliament in 2019!,” the CoHNA said in a post on X.

The group also highlighted that the rules would not affect existing Indian citizens of any faith and would fast-track the Indian citizenship process for religious minorities who fled Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

“A reminder – CAA has NO impact on existing Indian citizens of any faith. It simply fast-tracks the Indian citizenship process for approximately 31,000 religious minorities who fled Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan in the face of extreme and systemic persecution,” the CoHNA said.

“For instance, each year in Pakistan alone 1000+ minor girls from minority communities are kidnapped, forcibly converted and “married” to their abductors, with support from police and judicial authorities. As a result, petrified families with young kids have been fleeing to India for basic safety,” it added.

Additionally, the group shared that it had run an education and advocacy campaign on the CAA in 2020 to counter the fake propaganda being pushed on the topic (with 8 cities passing resolutions against). It urged US and Canadian residents to educate themselves and others around them about the CAA rules.

“To prevent the spread the of misinformation A, we urge residents of US and Canada to educate themselves and others around them. Our CAA page offers comprehensive resources,” the CoHNA said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) notified the rules under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA-2019) on Monday.

These rules, called the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024, will enable the persons eligible under CAA-2019 to apply for the grant of Indian citizenship. The applications will be submitted in a completely online mode for which a web portal has been provided, stated MHA.

The CAA rules, introduced by the Narendra Modi government, aim to confer Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants–including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians–who migrated from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and arrived in India before December 31, 2014.

Following the passage of the CAA by Parliament in December 2019 and its subsequent presidential assent, significant protests erupted in various parts of the country.

The implementation of the CAA, which has been delayed for over four years, necessitates the formulation of its associated rules.
On December 27, Union Home Minister Amit Shah asserted that the implementation of the CAA cannot be halted as it stands as the law of the land. He had also accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of misleading the public regarding this matter.

The assurance of implementing the highly debated CAA was a significant electoral agenda item for the BJP during the previous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in West Bengal. Leaders of the saffron party view it as a credible factor contributing to the BJP’s ascent in the state.
Since 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs has been regularly seeking extensions from the parliamentary committees to continue the process of framing the rules associated with the legislation.

Over a hundred individuals lost their lives either during the protests or due to police action after the passage of the law in Parliament.
During the past two years, over 30 district magistrates and home secretaries across nine states have been authorized with the ability to confer Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians arriving from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan under the Citizenship Act of 1955.

As per the Ministry of Home Affairs annual report for 2021-22, between April 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021, a cumulative count of 1,414 individuals from non-Muslim minority communities originating from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan were granted Indian citizenship through registration or naturalization under the Citizenship Act, 1955.

Under the Citizenship Act of 1955, Indian citizenship by registration or naturalization is granted to non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan in nine states, such as Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Maharashtra.

It’s notable that authorities in the districts of Assam and West Bengal, both politically sensitive regions on this matter, have not been empowered with these citizenship-granting authorities thus far.