CAA: Karnataka may implement it first

State govt may enforce it in first week of January.

Bengaluru: While there are strong protests around the country against the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA), Karnataka, which has a large number of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and is ruled by the BJP , is all set to lead in their implementation as early as the first week of January and “set an example” to other states, according to sources .

The Union home ministry has reportedly already asked the Yediyurappa government to take measures to enforce the controversial legislation in the state in the face of the growing protests . In fact, the issue was the main topic of discussion between BJP national general secretary (organisation), B.L. Santhosh and Chief Minister, B.S. Yediyurappa Monday morning, reveal sources.

The home ministry is believed to have asked the state to ensure that the entire process is carried out smoothly, without any law and order problem and has assured of providing Central assistance should the government anticipate any trouble in implementing the new laws.

Besides, the ministry has emphasised that the process must be systematic and without loopholes, say sources. “Karnataka’s enforcement of the new laws will be projected as a model for the country,” explain party insiders. Going by sources, the BJP has decided to start implementing the law introduced to give citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and identify illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and other countries, in the states where it is in power.

With the protests snowballing, the Centre reportedly wants to implement the law in BJP- ruled states to show that they are not against the interests of either Indian Muslims or those seeking refuge in India due to religious oppression from the three neighbouring Islamic countries.

In Karnataka, it is not just Bengaluru and its surrounding districts that are dealing with Bangladeshi immigrants, but also the coffee growing region of Malnad, including Kodagu, Sakaleshpur and Chikkamagaluru, where the local population is migrating in large number to cities in search of jobs, leaving an acute labour problem behind. The so- called “Assamese,” who everyone knows are in reality Bangladeshi immigrants, have filled the vacuum.

Former CM H D Kumaraswamy had objected to the Siddaramaiah government’s move to issue voter IDs to Bangladeshi immigrants in the state. Releasing a report by social activist, Sudhir Shetty, Mr Kumaraswamy had pointed out that there were over 40,000 illegal immigrants in Bengaluru alone, who had been brought to the city by the scrap business lobby. He noted that they were living in slums in Jakkasandra, around Bellandur lake, Ibbaluru, Devarabeesanahalli, Munnekolalu, Somasundarapalya and other places near the ring road.

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