The MHA has in a very welcome step has on Friday empowered Collectors of 13 more districts and Home Secretaries of two more states to grant citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim religious minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

The Home ministry has delegated powers to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan to the Home Secretaries of Punjab and Haryana, and additionally Collectors of 13 Districts spread across Gujarat, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab.

This step is in addition to the directive in 2018, which empowered Collectors of 16 districts in seven states and home Secretaries of these seven states to delegate the power to identify and confer Indian citizenship to persecuted religious minorities seeking refuge in India from the neighbouring Islamic nations mentioned above.

The Home Ministry notification issued on Friday states that the collectors of Morbi, Rajkot, Patan and Vadodara in Gujarat; Durg and Balodabazar in Chhattisgarh; Jalore, Udaipur, Pali, Barmer and Sirohi in Rajasthan; Faridabad in Haryana and Jalandar in Punjab would have the power to exercised by Central government for registration as citizen of India under Section 5 or the grant of certificate of naturalisation under Section 6 of the Citizenship Act,1955 in respect of Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Afghanistani and Bangladeshi applicants belonging to religious minorities there who ordinarily reside in the respective districts.

Pertinently, this very welcome move by the government to grant citizenship to persecuted minorities from the neighbouring Islamic countries is made not under the Citizenship Amendment Act, passed by the centre in 2019, as the Rules for procedure of granting citizenship to the persecuted non-Muslim religious minorities is yet to be framed. So, the citizenship for the non-Muslim religious minorities from the neighbouring Islamic countries is being granted through the normal available Naturalisation laws under the Citizenship Act.

The central government has not notified the Rules for CAA as the Amendment was challenged in the Supreme Court by so-called “liberal” activists who want the Muslim persecutors from these neighbouring Islamic countries to get Indian citizenship along with the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Christian persecuted religious minority refugees! The central government is awaiting the verdict in the CAA challenge case to notify the Rules where under citizenship can be granted automatically to the religious minority refugees from these Islamic countries.

It is a well known fact that Hindus and Sikhs suffer untold atrocities from the Islamist jihadis in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh where young Hindu girls are kidnapped, raped, converted to Islam and forcibly married off to their rapists. The whole administration and judicial system aids in the genocide of religious minorities in Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is for this reason, that the central government under PM Modi and HM Amit Shah’s leadership brought the CAA Amendment to provide automatic citizenship to the refugees, who otherwise have to wait for 11 years before they can get Indian citizenship through the Naturalisation laws.

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.