LUCKNOW: Ahead of next year's Assembly polls, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday visited Kairana in Shamil district on Monday, promising compensation to some families who were allegedly forced to leave town between 2014 and 2016.
The BJP had claimed then that scores of Hindu families had left the western UP town after receiving threats from criminals.
The claim, however, was contested by others.
The alleged exodus from Kairana was a big issue in the 2017 Assembly elections.
"I have sought a report from the district administration about the families which were harmed and their members killed here in the previous Samajwadi Party regime," Adityanath said in Kairana, adding that action has been initiated against the guilty.
"The government will give some compensation to the victim families so that they could again carry out their business and economic activities," Adityanath told reporters after meeting some families who had migrated from the town between 2014 and 2016, allegedly after received extortion threats.
"I met the families and had a lunch with them," said the CM, who was accompanied by state BJP president Swatantra Dev Singh and minister Suresh Rana.
He said Kairana was once considered a major industrial town of the country and a centre of classical music.
"Towns like Kairana and Kandhla faced repercussions of the criminalisation of politics in the early 1990s and the politicisation of professional criminals. Hindu businessmen and other Hindus were forced to migrate from here on a large scale," he alleged.
After 2017, due to our government's policy of zero tolerance towards crime and criminals, many families have returned, he claimed.
Adityanath said when he came to the town in 2017, people had demanded the strengthening of the police outpost and a PAC battalion.
"The work of strengthening the outpost has already been done and today I came here for laying the foundation of a PAC battalion camp," he added.
Adityanath also claimed that the town is not known for criminal activities now as the process for rapid development has started.
"A bypass road is being built to avoid traffic jam. Industrialisation has started here and locals are getting jobs," the CM said, adding that everyone will benefit by government schemes that are not aimed at "appeasement".
When asked if his visit is due to the upcoming elections, Adityanath said, "There is no election at present. It's my duty to meet every victim and if the victim is a Hindu, it is not a crime to meet him."
Replying to another question, he said the "exodus is also an issue."
In 2016, the then BJP MP Hukum Singh had claimed that close to 350 Hindus had left Kairana due to threats by criminals.