The drive initiated by Uttar Pradesh's Yogi Adityanath government to identify non-Muslim immigrants in the state seems to have run into rough weather. In Pilibhit, where the maximum number of about 35,000 illegal immigrants has been identified, it has now been found that information is being sought by the state government on an unverified document. A large number of families from Bangladesh settled here several decades ago.
The survey began last month even before the bill was notified. Moreover, the feedback email on the questionnaire is a Gmail ID -- email@example.com -- 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.
The CAA is meant to benefit Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31, 2014. The statement of purposes of the Act adds that it is meant to benefit those fleeing religious persecution from the above countries.
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