Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was passed by the Parliament in December 2019.

JK News Today

New Delhi, Feb. 10: Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday said that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will be notified and implemented before the upcoming Lok Sabha election, calling it an “act of the country”. Shah stressed that the act is to provide citizenship and not to “take away anyone’s citizenship”.

“The CAA is an act of the country…It will be notified before the polls. There should be no confusion around it. Minorities in our country, and especially our Muslim community, are being provoked…The CAA cannot snatch away anyone’s citizenship because there is no provision in the Act. The CAA is an act to provide citizenship to refugees who were persecuted in Bangladesh and Pakistan,” Shah said while speaking at the ET Now-Global Business summit in Delhi.

Notably, the assurance of implementing the CAA, which was passed in the Parliament on December 11, 2019, has been a significant electoral agenda for the BJP during the Lok Sabha elections.

Shah further accused the previous Congress government of “backtracking” on the promise to implement the CAA in the country.

“The CAA was a promise of the Congress government. When the country was divided and the minorities were persecuted in those countries, Congress had assured the refugees that they were welcome in India and they will be provided with Indian citizenship. Now they are backtracking,” he said, as quoted by news agency ANI.

What is the Citizenship Amendment Act?

The Citizenship Amendment Act, commonly known as CAA, was introduced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government. The Act aimed to confer Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants – including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians – who migrated from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and entered India till December 31, 2014, due to “religious persecution or fear of religious persecution”. However, it does not include Muslims or other communities who fled from the same or neighboring regions. This triggered massive protests across the country.

Initially, protests began in Assam on December 4, 2019, after the CAA was introduced in Parliament. The demonstrations intensified across the country after the passage of the Act on December 11, 2019, with some areas witnessing violence. The protesters called CAA “discriminatory” and an “attack on the secularism of India”. According to reports, several people lost their lives either during the protests or due to police action, while thousands of demonstrators were held.