People were migrating from Uttar Pradesh's Kairana town as a result of the worsening law and order situation in the region and spike in criminal activities, an investigation by the National Human Rights Commission has found. The human rights body questioned victims, witnesses, police officers as well as the sub-divisional magistrate based on the complaint that there was an exodus of people of a particular religion from Kairana, PTI reported.

The NHRC team obtained a list of 346 displaced families or people, from which they chose six alleged victims/families each at random from three residential neighbourhoods, for its investigation. "The team also had telephonic verification from at least four displaced families mentioned in the list who had migrated to distant places such as Dehradun and Surat from Kairana town in Shamli district," the commission said in a statement on Wednesday.

Moreover, the NHRC report also fond that the resettlement of around 25,000-30,000 members of the Muslim community in Kairana from Muzaffarnagar, following the 2013 riots, changed the demography of the region as the population of Muslims there increased. "Most of the witnesses examined feel that the rehabilitation in 2013 permanently changed the social situation in Kairana town and has led to further deterioration of law and order situation," the report added. The commission has sought an action taken report from the state's chief secretary and director general of police within eight weeks.

The matter came to light Bharatiya Janata Party leader Hukum Singh had claimed that 346 families were forced to leave the town because of threats and extortion by "a particular community", a veiled reference to Muslims in the area. However, he had retracted his statement later, saying it was not a communal issue.

An investigation by the Shamli district administration had found that four people on the list had died 20 years ago, while 13 others never left Kairana and 68 had migrated for reasons such as better business and job opportunities. A spokesperson for the home department had also said that 66 of the allegedly displaced families had left Kairana a decade ago.