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Minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh to be registered as citizens in 16 districts

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BHOPAL: Citizenship will be given to minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, and local administration in 16 districts will register them as Indian citizens.

The 16 districts where these people would be registered under the Citizenship Act, (and where the powers have been given to the district collectors) have been identified.

They include Raipur, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Kutch, Bhopal, Indore, Lucknow, Nagpur, Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Jaipur, West Delhi & South Delhi.

Now, the migrants can make an online application and after proper verification, they can get citizenship. The powers have been given to collectors in seven states viz. Chhattisgarh, MP, Gujarat, Maharashtra, UP and Delhi. 

Centre has authorised the district collectors to register Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians from these countries as Indian citizens. This was one of the poll promises of the BJP-led NDA government.

It had announced that minorities from adjoining countries would be granted citizenship once the party was elected to power. Also, the centre is planning to amend the Citizenship Act so that minorities from these countries get entitled for citizenship in six years.

Currently, the period is 12 years. The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a notification in this regard. The Opposition has questioned the timing of the move and has said that right now model code of conduct is enforced in five states that are going to polls.

It says that this will have bearing on the elections. Congress spokesperson has said that BJP is playing politics--creating hysteria over NRC in Assam and on the other hand, issuing this notification.