The contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), passed by the Parliament on Wednesday, received the assent of President Ram Nath Kovind late on Thursday night, turning it into an act.
The bill, which for the first time gives a legal route to gain Indian citizenship based on religion, was pushed by the ruling BJP through the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and the Lok Sabha on Monday.
According to an official notification, the Act comes into effect with its publication in the official gazette on Thursday.
According to the Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
The President’s assent comes even as protests in the northeastern states, particularly Assam, intensified on Thursday as violent mobs torched buildings and clashed with police, leading to the death of two people in police firing. Several others have also been wounded.