Govt seeks to allay fears on NRC, CAA

Govt seeks to allay fears on NRC, CAA

Protestors hold placards during a rally against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Pune, Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Seeking to allay apprehension about the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), a senior government official on Friday said any person born in India before 1987 or whose parents were born before 1987 are bonafide Indian citizens and need not be bothered about the new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) even as the government showed willingness to accept suggestions from protesters.

The official referred to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003, to allay fears following the protests on the CAA, 2019 which grants citizenship to non-Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, as well as NRC.

Barring those in Assam where the cut-off date for identification is set at 1971, the official quoted the 2003 Act, which states that people whose one parent is an Indian and neither is an illegal immigrant are also considered Indian citizens.

According to the 2003 amendment, citizenship by birth is given to those born in India on or after January 26, 1950, but before July 1, 1987. For those born after July 1, 1987, and before December 3, 2004, one of the parents should be an Indian.

After the commencement of the 2003 Act, one will be considered a citizen by birth if both of his parents are citizens of India or one parent is a citizen of India and the other is not an illegal migrant.

Referring to the protests, the official said the government is open to receive suggestions from anyone. “We are also trying to remove doubts of the people about the CAA in various ways,” he said.

“The changes in the new Act were brought after consultations,” the official said adding that people can give suggestions as the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is in the process of framing rules.

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