MHA grants citizenship to applicants from West Bengal, Haryana, Uttarakhand; number of those granted citizenship not revealed

This is the second time since notification of CAA rules that citizenship have been granted to people; development comes as West Bengal goes to polling on June 1, 2024

On May 29, the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) granted certificates of Indian citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to eligible people from the state of West Bengal, Haryana and Uttarakhand. As per the latest notification of the MHA, first set of citizenship certificates have been handed over to the individuals by the empowered committees in the states.

As per the statement, the MHA provided that “The process of granting citizenship certificates under the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024 has now commenced in the state of West Bengal, where the first set of applications from the State were today granted citizenship by the Empowered Committee, West Bengal. Similarly, the Empowered Committees of the states of Haryana and Uttarakhand have also granted citizenship today to the first set of applicants in their respective States, under the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024.”

It is to be noted that the number of people to whom the citizenship certificates were granted have not been mentioned. As per a report of the Hindu, a source had provided that at least eight Hindu migrants from Bangladesh were granted citizenship in West Bengal. It is crucial to highlight here that in the upcoming seventh phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections on June 1, which is also going to be the last phase, votes will be casted in at least nine constituencies of the state of West Bengal. These parliamentary constituencies are Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Jadavpur, Kolkata Dakshin, Kolkata Uttar.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee have ardently been opposing the CAA a, according to her, it curtails constitutional rights of the people and promotes religion-based discrimination. The union government, and especially Union home minister Amit Shah, had on multiple occasions asserted that CM Mamata Banerjee won’t be able to stop the BJP government from implementing CAA in West Bengal.

This is the second time that the MHA has granted citizenship to a group of eligible candidates since the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024 were notified on March 11, 2024. Prior to this, on May 15, a press release by the MHA had provided that the first set of citizenship certificates under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) was issued to more than 300 people. A total of 14 people were physically handed over the certificates. Previously too, the country of origin of the applicants was not made known in the press release. The report of The Hindu had provided that a government source had suggested that most applicants were Pakistani Hindus.

The Rules grant the final authority to accord citizenship to an empowered committee headed by a Director, Census Operations. The scrutiny of applications filed online on was done by a district-level committee (DLC) headed by postal department officials. The Rules say that the applicants must provide any of nine specified documents tracing their roots to Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. On successful verification of documents, the DLCs administered the oath of allegiance to the applicants. The portal is said to have received more than 25,000 applications so far.



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