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Over 21,000 foreigners granted Indian citizenship in the last decade, including around 15,000 to Bangladeshis due to India-Bangladesh enclave exchange

The inclusion of 53 enclaves of neighbouring Bangladesh in India under India-Bangladesh Land Boundary Pact 2015 resulted in 14,864 Bangladeshis given Indian citizenship

Official statistics reveal that in the last decade over 21,000 foreigners were granted Indian citizenship in the last decade. The details were provided by the Union Home Ministry on Tuesday in a reply to a query in the Lok Sabha. These people were provided with citizenship during the terms of prime minister Manmohan Singh as well as Narendra Modi.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said, “In the last 10 years, a total of 21,408 foreign nationals were provided Indian citizenship.” By providing year-wise statistics, he asserted that in the year 2010, 232 people got Indian citizenship while 435 in 2011, 553 in 2012, 563 in 2013, 617 in 2014, and 15,470 persons got Indian passports in 2015. Apart from these Indian government decided to grant citizenship to 1,106 people in 2016, 817 in 2017, 628 in 2018 and 987 in 2019.

Replying to the question, minister of state in home ministry Nityanand Rai also ensured that there will be no change in the process of gaining citizenship.

Read- Muslims refugees can continue to get citizenship as per provisions of Citizenship Act, CAA does not prevent that: Government clarifies in Lok Sabha

Explaining the reason behind the huge number of persons granted citizenship in 2015, the minister added the inclusion of 53 enclaves of neighbouring Bangladesh in India under India-Bangladesh Land Boundary Pact 2015 resulted in 14,864 Bangladeshis given Indian citizenship under Section 7 of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

“All the legal migrants could be provided Indian citizenship irrespective of their religion under the Citizenship Act 1955 after completing all the formalities. There is no change in the current process to obtain the Indian Citizenship”, replying to a query Nityanand Rai said.

The minister also gave data of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants who were living in India illegally and deported later. He said, “Actions were taken to send back the illegal Bangladeshis and 308 people in 2016, 51 in 2017 and 445 in 2018 were deported”.

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