LUCKNOW: The UP government has ordered identification of migrants — Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians — from the three neighbouring countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, making UP the state first in the country to begin the exercise of shortlisting eligible migrants for granting citizenship. Sources said, this will also help collate data on illegal migrants.

Additional chief secretary (home) Avanish Awasthi told TOI district magistrates have been asked to track down migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who have settled here for decades, without citizenship. “Though the number of people from Afghanistan living in UP is low, estimates indicate there’s a substantial number from Pakistan and Bangladesh, who settled here after being persecuted in their countries,” said Awasthi. This is the first step towards implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act.

The purpose of compilation of the list is to ensure the state government could intervene and ensure that “genuine migrants” become citizens of the country. The presence of migrants from the two countries has been found mainly in Lucknow, Hapur, Rampur, Shahjahanpur, Noida and Ghaziabad.

“This is the first time such a list is being prepared. Citizenship will be granted according to the new CAA provisions,” said Awasthi.

The state government will update the Union home ministry on Muslim migrants in the state and they could be deported to their countries though no decision has been taken on this yet. The citizenship law had triggered off protests and demonstrations in the state recently, leading to violence in various parts that left 28 dead.

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