The Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has taken the lead in implementing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as it has now sent a list of 37,000 refugees to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The refugees in Pilibhit have expressed their happiness over the news since they are now to be granted Indian citizenship under the CAA.
The survey that identified the refugees was conducted by a team led by District Magistrate Vaibhav Srivastava. He later informed news agency ANI that the list has been sent to the MHA. "We have identified 37,000 refugees who came to India due to religious persecution. The list was prepared after we conducted a primary survey. The list has been sent to the state government and the Ministry of Home Affairs," Srivastava said.
Pilibhit is a region in Uttar Pradesh which shares a border with Nepal. According to district government officials, the refugees here had come from Pakistan and erstwhile East Pakistan (currently, Bangladesh) after facing persecution.
"We were living in fear in Pakistan. We were being pressurised to convert our religion. Our daughters, sisters, and wives were not safe there. We came here but we were not treated as citizens of this country. We are thankful to Prime Minister Modi for bringing in the CAA to give us dignified and respectful life," a refugee was quoted by ANI. Another refugee thanked the BJP government for taking care of their population since, they alleged, their demands were ignored by the previous Congress government.
Earlier, the UP government had asked all district magistrates to identify refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan in their respective districts and send the lists to the state government.