The Indian government has authorized the registration of minority communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan as citizens of the country. A communiqué from Indian’s Home Ministry avail the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan to register and become a legal citizen of India.
The government has given permission to 16 collectors across seven states to carry out this process.
The collectors of Raipur (Chhattisgarh); Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and Kutch (Gujarat); Bhopal and Indore (Madhya Pradesh); Nagpur, Mumbai, Pune and Thane (Maharashtra); Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur (Rajasthan); Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh); and West Delhi and South Delhi are conferred the right to issue citizenship rights to persons eligible and have met all stipulated criteria as detailed in the Citizenship Act-1955.
The central government is moving to modify the 60-year old Citizenship Act, to allow minority communities from it neighboring countries citizenship after a six years of residence in India as against 12-years. The bill which allows legal registration for residents of the minority communities without a proper document has been opposed by Assam and other northeastern states, and it under examination by a joint parliamentary committee.
Home secretary of states or union territories involved have been vested with authority to grant residency to applicant who is not a resident of the above listed districts under certain conditions.
The conditions as listed:
(a) The application for registration as a citizen of India or grant of certificate of naturalization as citizen of India under the said rules should be made by the applicant online.
(b) The verification of the application would be done simultaneously by the collector or the secretary at the district or state levels, and the application and the reports thereon will be made accessible simultaneously to the central government through an online portal.
The government noted that all instruction and modification by the government should be strictly adhered to and that collector, secretaries and 16 named districts can question the integrity of applications.