Amid the political row over the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Uttar Pradesh DGP O P Singh has directed all district police units to start a drive to identify “Bangladeshis” and other foreigners staying in the state illegally and without valid documents. Police said Tuesday that the directive was a “routine” exercise and “does not mention the NRC”.
The circular, issued Monday, states: “In the past few years, cases of people from Bangladesh staying illegally in various districts of the state has come to light. Action has been taken in these cases on several occasions. In order to strengthen the internal security of the state, it is necessary to identify and get verification done of Bangladeshis and foreigners staying illegally.”
It also directed the police to “take fingerprints of Bangladeshis and foreigners staying illegally and send them to the state fingerprint bureau where a database is kept district wise separately”. “After a list is prepared of foreigners living illegally, the Home (Visa) department must be immediately made aware of proposals for deportation of such people,” it states.
According to the directive, police must carry out identification drives on the “outskirts like railway stations, bus stations, roadsides, new slums” where “people from Bangladesh and other foreign countries take asylum”.
“A verification drive with videography must be carried out in such places. If during the probe, such people give their address to be from other states or districts, then in a time bound manner, their address must be verified from the concerned districts or states.”
UP ADG, Law and Order, P V Ramasastry said it was a “routine internal police exercise”. “Every year, police teams in districts are alerted that action should be taken against those violating provisions under The Foreigners Act. The same instructions have been given again. The SPs have been reminded about their responsibilities with regard to the provisions under the Act,” he said.
Later, the UP police said on Twitter: “This is to bring to your notice that the letter issued on September 30 does not mention NRC. Instructions regarding deportation of illegal Bangladeshi and foreign nationals have been issued to tighten security and conduct of festivals in a peaceful manner and are also related to process of verification during providing jobs and residence. Another reason for this is to catch absconding criminals.”
According to the circular, police also need to probe if “people from Bangladesh or other foreign countries in order to regulate their stay may have documents like ration card, voter card, driving license, arms license, passport and Aadhaar card”.
“After a probe is conducted about above mentioned fake documents and records, the process to cancel them must be done on a priority basis. Middlemen and officials who have helped these Bangladeshis and foreigners attain these documents and citizenship of India must also be identified and action must be ensured against them too,” it states.
“Apart from this, several business and construction companies, etc, are legally expected to have identification documents of people/women working for them and that a police verification of these documents is done according to the rules. For this, according to the needs, with coordination from DMs of related districts and all concerned, people must be made aware of the action taken in a time-bound manner in this regard.”
The circular has instructed police that if a person claims that they are from a foreign country, then the Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) or related agency must be informed. The instructions also said that the objectives of such verification drives are often not achieved “due to lack of transparency and that the instructions must be followed with transparency”.
“The above order issued from the government and (DGP) headquarters level reiterate that for deportation from districts, ADGs of zones will coordinate with IG, BSF, Kolkata and in the case of any problem they may seek guidance from the IG, Intelligence of (state) Intelligence Department and from Home Department (Visa section),” it states.
Asked about the deportation process, ADG Ramasastry said, “It depends from case to case. There are two actions. In some cases, they are deported, sometimes cases are registered against them. It varies from case to case based on the situation.”