The Centre has decided to grant citizenship to Hindu Bangladeshis in 16 districts across seven states of the country barring Assam.

A notification issued by the Home Ministry has said that the order will come into effect on December 22.

It says along with Hindu Bangladeshis, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Persians from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh would be considered for citizenship.

The order has authorised the district magistrates of these districts to register Indian citizens from these communities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The seven states where the order will be applicable includes Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Delhi.

The Centre’s decision comes at a time when there is stiff opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that seeks to provide citizenship to Hindu Bangladeshis in Assam.

Many of those opposed to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill now feel that the Centre is bent on getting the Bill passed, if necessary through an Ordinace.