India to enforce migrant law that excludes Muslims

India’s government has announced plans to enact a controversial citizenship law that has been criticised for being anti-Muslim.

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will allow non-Muslim religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to seek citizenship.

The authorities say it will help those facing persecution.

The law was passed in 2019 – sparking mass protests in which scores of people died and many more were arrested.

Rules for it were not drawn up in the wake of the unrest but have now been, according to the country’s home affairs minister Amit Shah.

He made the announcement on Monday, writing on social media that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “delivered on another commitment and realised the promise of the makers of our constitution to the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians living in those countries”.

Implementation of the CAA has been one of the key poll promises of Mr Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the run up to the general elections this year.

It amends the 64-year-old Indian Citizenship law, which currently prevents illegal migrants from becoming Indian citizens.

Under the new law, those seeking citizenship will have to prove that they arrived in India from Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan by 31 December 2014.

The Indian government has not given a date for when the law change will come into effect.

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