Uttar Pradesh Police Told to Identify Illegal Migrants, Top Cop Says ‘Nothing to do With NRC’
New Delhi: A letter from the Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) OP Singh to all district police chiefs on identification and verification of illegal Bangladeshi migrants and “other foreigners” has led to speculation of the NRC exercise being replicated in politically significant UP after controversial implementation in Assam.
In the letter, Singh said it has come to the notice that Bangladeshis are living illegally in the state and many of them have gone missing. “In the present scenario, to strengthen the state's internal security, it is necessary to identify and verify Bangladeshis and other foreigners residing in the state," he said.
The letter in Hindi was released to the media by the DGP's office on Tuesday.
The DGP wrote that places like railway stations, bus stations, new colonies and roadside locations where Bangladeshis and other foreign nationals seek shelter should be identified. The residents there should be verified and the exercise recorded on video, he instructed.
Singh further said if a resident claims to belong to any other state, the claim should be verified in a time-bound manner. “It should also be probed what documents, like ration cards, voter ID cards, driving licences and passports, they have procured to legalise their stay," he added.
The police should then begin the process of cancellation of documents obtained by illegal migrants, the letter advised, urging action against brokers and officials who helped illegal migrants get such documents.
Singh said fingerprints of Bangladeshis and other foreigners staying illegally should be lifted and sent to the state's fingerprints bureau, where district-wise details should be kept. Construction companies should be asked to maintain identity proof of labourers working for them, it said.
The senior official said the exercise should be taken seriously to maintain internal security, as festivals are nearing. He also urged coordination among different agencies and transparency" during the campaign.
Singh, however, later said the exercise has nothing to do with NRC.
“It has nothing to do with NRC. We have been practising this for many years. People who are Bangladeshi or from some other country need to submit their documents who are living here illegally (sic). Action will be taken against people found with fake documents. It’s an annual exercise which is done every year. There are some instances where they are involved in criminal activities. As the festive season is near, we need to be alert,” he said.
Despite the controversial implementation of the exercise in Assam, calls for a similar National Register of Citizens have been made in Delhi, UP and Meghalaya.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath had said last month that NRC would be introduced in the state “if the need arises”.
"I feel that when Uttar Pradesh will need an NRC, we will do so. In the first phase, it has been Assam and the way it is being implemented there, it can be an example for us," the CM had said.
In Assam, over 19 lakh people were omitted from the final list which was published on August 31.