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Puri outlines need for CAA citing Afghan crises

Union minister points to Hindus and Sikhs of the war-torn country fleeing after Taliban takeover
Hardeep Singh Puri
Hardeep Singh Puri
File picture

Our Bureau, PTI   |   New Delhi   |   Published 23.08.21, 02:22 PM

With Hindus and Sikhs settled in Afghanistan fleeing the country after its takeover by the Taliban, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri has outlined the need for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

In a tweet on Sunday, the senior BJP leader said, "Recent developments in our volatile neighbourhood & the way Sikhs & Hindus are going through a harrowing time are precisely why it was necessary to enact the Citizenship Amendment Act."

The government of India has undertaken a massive evacuation exercise to airlift Hindus, Sikhs and natives from the neighbouring country passing through a phase of volatile uncertainty for its people.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, which came into force from January 10, 2020, witnessed widespread protests across the country with Delhi emerging as a hub of resistance against the legislation.

Most of the Opposition parties vociferously protested against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, introduced in Parliament by the Modi government, alleging it of being "communal" in nature.

The CAA grants citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on the ground of religious persecution faced by them in their native country.

India on August 17 announced that it will issue an emergency e-visa to Afghan nationals who want to come to the country in view of the prevailing situation in Afghanistan.

All Afghans, irrespective of their religion, can apply for the 'e-Emergency X-Misc Visa' online and the applications will be processed in New Delhi.

"The Ministry of Home Affairs reviews visa provisions in view of the current situation in Afghanistan. A new category of electronic visa called 'e-Emergency X-Misc Visa' introduced to fast-track visa applications for entry into India," a home ministry spokesperson had said.

The visa would initially be valid for six months, officials had said.

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