Watch Video: Maulana Shahabuddin Razvi Bareilvi All India Muslim Jamaat President Welcomes Implementation of CAA

After the central government notified the Citizenship Amendment Act, Maulana Shahabuddin Razvi Bareilvi, President of All India Muslim Jamaat, extended a warm welcome to the legislation. In a bid to reassure the Muslim community, he emphasized that the law wouldn’t affect their citizenship status.

“The implementation of the CAA law by the Government of India is a positive step, and I embrace it wholeheartedly. Though it should have been enacted sooner, it’s better late than never… There are widespread misunderstandings among Muslims regarding this law. However, it’s important to clarify that this legislation is unrelated to Muslims. Previously, there was no provision to grant citizenship to non-Muslims facing religious persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh…,” stated Maulana Shahabuddin Razvi Bareilvi during a press interaction.

He further emphasized, “Millions of Indian Muslims will remain unaffected by this law… It does not endanger the citizenship of any Muslim… Previous protests stemmed from misconceptions fueled by certain political elements. Every Muslim in India should embrace the CAA wholeheartedly.”

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had earlier clarified the intent of the CAA, affirming that it aimed to grant citizenship and not revoke anyone’s citizenship rights.

“It’s disheartening to witness the deliberate provocation of minorities, particularly our Muslim community. The CAA does not strip anyone of their citizenship as it lacks such provisions. This act is designed to provide citizenship to refugees persecuted in Bangladesh and Pakistan,” reiterated Mr. Shah.

The rules for implementing the Citizenship Amendment Act were officially notified by the Union Home Ministry on Monday evening, just ahead of the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections schedule.

Introduced by the Narendra Modi government and passed by Parliament in 2019, the CAA seeks to offer Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants, including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians, who migrated from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and arrived in India before December 31, 2014.

Applications for citizenship must be submitted online through a designated web portal.

Following its passage in Parliament, the CAA sparked significant protests across the country. Its delayed implementation required the formulation of associated rules, which had been pending for over four years.

According to parliamentary procedures, guidelines for any legislation should have been formulated within six months of presidential assent, or an extension should have been sought from the Committees on Subordinate Legislation in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Since 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs has regularly sought extensions from parliamentary committees to finalize the rules.

Tragically, over a hundred individuals lost their lives during protests or due to subsequent police action following the law’s passage. In the past two years, more than 30 district magistrates and home secretaries across nine states have been authorized to grant Indian citizenship to eligible migrants under the Citizenship Act of 1955.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs annual report for 2021-22, a total of 1,414 individuals from non-Muslim minority communities originating from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan were granted Indian citizenship through registration or naturalization between April 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021.

Under the Citizenship Act of 1955, Indian citizenship by registration or naturalization is granted to non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan in nine states.

It’s worth noting that authorities in districts of Assam and West Bengal, both politically sensitive regions on this matter, have not yet been empowered with citizenship-granting authorities.

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