Uttar Pradesh police chief O P Singh has instructed all district units in the state to run a campaign to identify illegal "Bangladeshi migrants" and "other foreigners" residing in Uttar Pradesh so that they can be deported.
Speaking to ANI, Singh said, "the current drive has nothing to do with NRC. Bangladeshis and foreigners who have been living here illegally will be identified and their documents will be verified. They will be deported if their documents are found to be false."
In a letter sent to district police chiefs, the director-general of police 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 deportation of unauthorised persons identified in the exercise will be "time-bound and monitored by senior officials", he said in his letter.
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, the DGP instructed.
"If during the probe people claim that they belong to another district or state, this should be verified,” the letter said.
“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 have also been asked to track down the government employees who may have helped prepare the fake documents for the "foreigners and illegal residents".
Fingerprints of people identified as Bangladeshis or other foreigners will be taken. Focussing on a large floating population in the state, the police have told construction companies to keep records identity proofs of all labourers.
Uttar Pradesh, according to sources, has a large population of migrants from Bangladesh and Nepal, with which it shares a highly porous border.
Last month, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had praised the Assam NRC and had said that he would launch a similar move in his state if need be. In an interview, he had said that the Assam exercise was important for "national security".
This is being seen as an unofficial launch of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Uttar Pradesh.
(Inputs from Agencies)