File photo: President Ram Nath Kovind. Photograph:( ANI )
The Bill gives Indian citizenship to the members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014.
President Ram Nath Kovind gave his nod to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 late on Thursday, letting it become an Act after the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) passed the Bill.
The Bill gives Indian citizenship to the members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 to India due to religious persecution.
"Parliament received the assent of the President on December 12, 2019, and here by published for general information", according to the gazette of India.
The Act came to force after the official gazette published it on Thursday.
As per the citizenship bill, the migrants of these six communities will be given Indian citizenship after residing in the country for five years, changing from the earlier requirement of 11 years. The Bill also gives protection to these people from cases of illegal migrants filed against them.
It will not be applicable to the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura and in the areas covered under the Inner Line Permit, notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.
However, massive protests continue in the Northeast against the citizenship bill and two people were also killed on Thursday. Curfew has been imposed in several areas including Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Tezpur and Dhekiajuli.
Earlier, the Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and the Lok Sabha (Lower House) approved it after midnight on Monday.
(with inputs from agencies)