The Uttar Pradesh government's exercise to identify non-Muslim immigrants in the state seems to have run into rough weather. It has been found that the state government is seeking information on an unverified document in Pilibhit, where a large number of families from Bangladesh settled here several decades ago.
The maximum number of about 35,000 illegal immigrants have been identified in Pilbhit, where the survey began last month, even before the bill was notified. Moreover, the feedback email on the questionnaire is a Gmail ID -- firstname.lastname@example.org -- which is not a government server.
It is not known how the state government is drawing up the lists without having the verification criteria. After the report was put up by a news website, Home Department officials feigned complete ignorance about the issue.
A spokesman said: "This was an unofficial and preliminary exercise to assess the number of illegal migrants in the state. The document is meant to collect basic beneficiary information. No list of potential beneficiaries has yet been sent to Delhi."
The document has eight columns asking for name, father's name, place of stay in India, and where did they come from and when. It does not mention any requirement of proof, or documents.
It also asks for a description of the kind of atrocities they faced, presumably in their home country.
The District Magistrate of Pilibhit claimed they are checking documents of the refugees, but denied any knowledge of the unsigned document.
What does the CAA say?
The CAA seeks to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
The Citizenship Amendment Act seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian illegal migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship of India.
Highlights of the Citizenship Amendment Act
- Granting nationality to non-Muslim immigrants from neighbouring countries.
- The Citizenship Act, 1955, one of the requirements for citizenship was that the applicant must have resided in India in the last 12 months, as well as for 11 of the previous 14 years.
- Now the amendment relaxes the second requirement — from 11 years to six years.
- Provides that the registration of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders may be cancelled if they violate any law.
(With agency inputs.)