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Centre amends rules for minorities from three nations

Centre amends rules for minorities from three nations

Central government has notified amendments to Citizen Rules Act 2009, to include a separate column in the citizenship form for applicants belonging to six minority communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Background

A parliamentary committee has been examining the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, that proposes citizenship to six persecuted minorities — Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists — from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who came to India before 2014.

It has run into strong resistance in the Assam because it will pave the way for giving citizenship mostly to illegal Hindu migrants from Bangladesh in Assam, who came after March 1971, in violation of the 1985 Assam Accord.

New Amendments

The Centre has made the changes under Section 18 of the Citizenship Act, 1955. New rules were notified on December 3.

Under the amendments, a separate entry in the form will ask the applicant: Do you belong to one of the minority communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, Sikhs and Christians?

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