The Central government has issued a gazette notification on Friday night announcing that the provisions of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) came into effect on January 10.
The CAA, which has led to widespread protests in the country, grants citizenship to individuals who are Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain, or Parsi and who entered India from Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Afghanistan by the cut-off date of December 31, 2014.
As the two houses of parliament passed the controversial Act mid-December, India saw weeks of protests by thousands of citizens and students. The Narendra Modi government has continued to assert that no Indian citizen needs to worry about the law – despite the fact that the Act itself is in violation of the constitution as it singles out one religious community when it is implemented alongside the National Register of Citizens.
Eminent personalities from civil servants to actors and even civil society members have raised their voice against the Act and demanded justice for the violence being perpetrated against protesting students.
Three opposition ruled states – West Bengal, Punjab and Kerala – have said that they will not implement the new citizenship law.