CAA provokes fears among non-Muslim minorities too
Even as the Citizenship Amendment Act has become a reality and opposition to the controversial law continues to simmer, some BJP-ruled states have begun to set the wheels in motion.
The BJP-ruled state of Uttar Pradesh had already started the process of identifying people who qualify for citizenship under the provisions of the CAA.
In the second week of January, Uttar Pradesh minister Srikant Sharma said that more than 40,000 people have been identified from 21 districts in the state in the first list prepared by the state's home department.
The Yogi Adityanath government has sent a report on the matter, to the union government.
The CAA primarily aims to help non-Muslim minorities fleeing religious persecution in neighbouring countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
The opposition to the controversial law has so far been spearheaded by Muslim community worries over their future, in the context of a possible National Register of Citizens.
However, there are also apprehensions in some quarters about the impact the law will have on non-Muslim components of Indian society, such as tribals and people of northeastern states.
There are worries that the refugees can be settled in areas that are the traditional home-lands of tribals in regions like Jharkhand and Chattisgarh.
The Northeast saw sporadic violence breaking out when the Bill was introduced and later when it became law. Assam in particular saw people block roads, attack government buildings and resort to violence.
The resultant crackdown by authorities saw at least five people losing their lives. The Assamese, who have been opposing the influx of Bangladeshi migrants for decades, fear being swamped by the Bengali culture with the influx of refugees that the CAA is likely to unleash.IANS