UP government sends list of persecuted refugees living in the state to centre; Nagarik Adhikar Manch releases a booklet on their trials and tribulations
The Uttar Pradesh government has been steadfast in implementing CAA after it came into effect last week through a gazette notification. Times of India reports
that UP has become the first state in the country to send the list of refugees to the Home Ministry for granting Indian citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019. An NGO 'Nagarik Adhikar Manch' (Civil Rights Forum), has now prepared a booklet which provides the details of these refugees, the difficulties, the way they were persecuted and other issues they faced while they were living in the Islamic countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The 106 page booklet titled 'पाकिस्तान, अफगानिस्तान एवं बांग्लादेश से उत्तर प्रदेश में आए शरणार्थियों की आपबीती कहानी ' (The stories of persecuted refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh staying in Uttar Pradesh) is a study by an NGO 'Nagarik Adhikar Manch' which provides the list of refugees who migrated from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and are residing in 19 districts. The booklet also provides detailed accounts of their trials and tribulations while they were in these countries.
District-wise list of nearly 40,000 refugees have been given in the book. These persecuted refugees are primarily living in Agra, Rae Bareli, Saharanpur, Gorakhpur, Aligarh, Rampur, Muzaffarnagar, Hapur, Mathura, Kanpur Nagar, Pratapgarh, Varanasi, Amethi, Jhansi, Bahraich, Lakhimpur, Kheri, Lucknow, Meerut and Pilibhit districts as per the booklet. The booklet has featured 80 refugees along with their photographs and that of their family members. The sordid tales of persecution have been recorded in the booklet.
One such account is of Rajesh Kumar who says that they lived in Pakistan since partition and that their father Mahendra Kumar used to do farming in Shikarpur district of Sindh province of Pakistan. But since he was a Hindu, he was persecuted in various ways. "Our children are forced to convert to Islam. Our women were regularly violated. My uncle Balchand Israni's son Prakash Israni was kidnapped and a demand for ransom was made. When they said that they cannot afford, they threatened to kill him. He was released only after the ransom was paid", recounts Rajesh Kumar who lives as a refugee in Kamla Nagar in Agra city of Uttar Pradesh. He and his family came to India as refugees in 1991.
Releasing the booklet, BJP's State spokesperson Dr. Chandra Mohan had said that thanks to the efforts of 'Nagarik Adhikar Manch', the story of the persecuted refugees living in the country and UP will now be known to all through this booklet. He also said that the details in the booklet will clear the negative propaganda created among certain sections of the society against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
The booklet contains statements on CAA by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The BJP plans to distribute the book in a big way among the workers, leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh and the intellectuals living in the state.