The state government has directed the DGP headquarters to send a detailed report on the “exodus” from Uttar Pradesh due to communal tension before BJP came to power here.

The move comes at a time when the crucial Kairana Lok Sabha bypolls are imminent.

The government had initially issued the order for the report on June 20, 2017. However, a reminder, along with fresh directives to the DGP and all divisional commissioners, was sent on March 29 this year, after the details compiled were found to be insufficient.

The fresh directive has asked the DGP to issue letters to all district senior superintendents and superintendents of police, instructing them to provide detailed information on those who allegedly migrated before February 28, 2017, and the reasons for the same, within a week.

The Adityanath government was sworn in on March 19, 2017.

“The new directive was issued after it was found that reports sent to us did not match with the perception of media reports or with public sentiments, particularly in west Uttar Pradesh,” said a senior official of the state home department. “All SSPs/SPs have to send detailed reports on the exodus up to February 28, 2017, to the DGP headquarters within a week. The headquarters has been tasked with studying the report and after completing its formalities, send it to the government,” the official added.

Denying any connection between the order and the upcoming bypoll, Principal Secretary, Home, Arvind Kumar said, “The first letter seeking details of exodus was sent in June last year and second order was in its continuation.” He further said, “The BJP, in its election manifesto for the 2017 polls, had promised to take effective steps to curb exodus. Following that promise, a letter has been sent to provide detailed reports about exodus victims and the reasons for their migration.”

“Since the report sent to us earlier was not as per required format, a fresh order was passed on this matter asking senior officials to check the information before sending it. The first letter was sent in June last year,” added Kumar.

Two years ago, late BJP MP Hukum Singh, who died on February 3 this year, had released two lists of Hindu families who had allegedly been forced to migrate from Kairana and Kandhla towns in Shamli over “threats and extortion by criminal elements belonging to a particular community, and lack of security”.

In the first list were names of 346 Hindus who allegedly left from Kairana. The second list had names of 63 Hindus who had allegedly migrated from Kandhla. BJP leaders had then claimed that this “migration of Hindus” was not communal in nature, but had more to do with the law and order situation.

In October 2016, members of the National Commission for Minorities had criticised a report of the National Human Rights Commission on the alleged migration of several families from Kairana in Shamli district, saying people had left the town for their businesses.

Move to divert attention, says SP

Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said, “They are digging up old issues because that is what their politics is all about. Girls are unsafe in the present regime. Today, one girl had alleged rape by one of the leaders of the ruling party, but they are more concerned about an exodus that happened before their government came to power. Moreover, the issue has already been taken up in court and has been debated at length. It is just a move to divert attention from the past one year of failures as they have nothing else to discuss.”

Both BSP and Congress said they would react only after looking into the order.

The BJP said this was one of their steps to “control crime” in Uttar Pradesh.

“The Opposition is troubled with action taken against criminals by the Yogi government in Uttar Pradesh. They are troubled with the steps taken to control crime. Should action not be taken against such criminals, who had created fear, forcing people to leave their houses? Instead of supporting the government in such steps, Opposition is merely giving misleading statements,” said BJP spokesperson Harish Srivastava.

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