The Uttar Pradesh government has sought a fresh report from the police on an alleged “exodus” in the state before the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in March 2017.

Although the Home Affairs Department’s directive comes ahead of the bye-poll to the Kairana Lok Sabha seat, a senior bureaucrat maintained that it was only a reminder to officers from several districts who have yet to submit their reports on the alleged exodus of Hindus from Kairana in 2016.

Uttar Pradesh Home Secretary Bhagwan Swaroop’s letter does not mention any particular religion but specifically says “exodus due to communal tension”, News18 reported on Sunday.

The Home Affairs Department had ordered the first report in June 2017. It sent the fresh order to the state’s director general of police and all divisional commissioners in March after finding that the earlier report lacked details, according to The Indian Express. The latest directive instructs the director general of police to ask all district senior superintendents and superintendents of police to submit within a week detailed information on people who allegedly migrated from Uttar Pradesh before February 2017.

“The new directive was issued after it was found that reports sent to us did not match with the perception of media reports or with public sentiments, particularly in west Uttar Pradesh,” The Indian Express quoted a senior official in the Home Affairs Department as saying. “All SSPs/SPs have to send detailed reports on the exodus up to February 28, 2017, to the DGP headquarters within a week. The headquarters has been tasked with studying the reports and after completing its formalities, send it to the government.”

In June 2016, Bharatiya Janata Party MP Hukum Singh, who died in February, had released two lists of some 250 Hindu families who had allegedly been forced to migrate from Shamli district’s Kairana and Kandhla towns because of “threats and extortion by criminal elements belonging to a particular community and lack of security”. He had later backtracked and said there was no communal angle to the exodus, a stand that the National Human Rights Commission had seconded.

Uttar Pradesh Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said: “The BJP, in its election manifesto for the 2017 polls, had promised to take effective steps to curb the exodus. Following that promise, a letter has been sent to provide detailed reports about exodus victims and the reasons for their migration.”