Uttar Pradesh police chief O P Singh has asked all district units to run a campaign to detect illegal Bangladeshi migrants, in instructions issued amid the political row over the National Register of Citizens update in Assam.
The police should then inform the state's home department, beginning the process of their deportation, a letter sent by the director general of police to district police chiefs said.
The letter 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," the DGP said.
The letter in Hindi was released to the media by the DGP's office on Tuesday.
The DGP, however, told the media later that the exercise is “routine”, similar to the ones carried out in previous years. “It has nothing to do with the NRC,” he said.
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 identity of the residents there should be verified and the exercise recorded on video, the DGP instructed. The videography, he said later, was to ensure transparency and prevent any harassment during the exercise.
"If during the probe people claim that they belong to another district or state, this should be verified,” his 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," the DGP added.
The police should then begin the process of cancellation of documents obtained by illegal migrants, the letter advised.
It urged action against “brokers” and officials who helped illegal migrants get such documents.
He said fingerprints of Bangladeshis and other foreigners staying illegally should be lifted and sent to the state’s fingerprints bureau, where district-wise details should be kept.
Construction companies should be asked to maintain identity proof of labourers working for them, it said.
The DGP said the exercise should be taken seriously to maintain internal security, as festivals are nearing.
He also urged coordination among different agencies and “transparency" during the campaign.